Today Leap of Faith 2019 is officially kicking off here at BRV! Follow along in your handbook that is linked above.
THIS YEAR’S THEME: STRANGER LIVES
We’ll take a look at the incredible assortment of women and men named in Hebrews 11 who lived big, God pleasing lives. Their lives stood out from the norm. They made an impact on all of human history. They pleased God by working with him faithfully.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth… they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13, 16
HOW WILL THIS WORK?
If we want to follow their example, we’ll have to arrange our time and practices purposefully. Here’s how:
1. Read the Bible daily.
We suggest reading Hebrews 11 several times a week, as well as each week’s suggested passages, which you’ll find updated on our website and in our bulletin.
Read slowly, asking the Lord to speak to you as you consider what that scripture meant to early Christians and how God might want you to respond to it.
2. Pray big prayers of faith for yourself and our church.
As we immerse ourselves in the stories in Hebrews 11. Start asking God to shape your imagination to pray big things for yourself and the church. Ask him to give you ways to trust and obey him. Ask him for the deep desires of your heart. Ask him to show you any changes he wants you to make. Ask him to make our church all that he wants it to be.
Think big. Ask God to do things that would be hard or impossible for you to do on your own. What are you praying for?
3. Pray for your five.
One of the most Christlike things we can do is pray for the people God has put in your life. It’s our tradition during Lent to create a list of five people in your life who would benefit from knowing Jesus better and pray for them daily. Who will you pray for?
Consider fasting in some way. During Lent, millions of Christians are fasting from something. Why not join in at some level? Fasting doesn’t make you more holy and acceptable before God. That was completely accomplished by Jesus on the cross. But when we fast, we set aside certain activities, meals or foods and use the time saved and appetites that become more apparent to focus on and seek God.
Hebrews 11 (NIV)
¹ Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. ² This is what the ancients were commended for. ³ By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. 23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
LEAP OF FAITH SMALL GROUPS
Small groups are an important component of our Leap of Faith program. The community available in our living rooms, kitchen tables, or an online group is fertile ground for our faith to take a leap this year. Please join with others to connect around the bible, pray and learn together in one of these 6 weeks gatherings. Choose the group that fits you and call or text the leader to let him or her know you’ll be attending. Groups begin the week of March 4th. Also, all of our on-going small groups will be covering this content as well. To find the complete list of on-going groups click on the small group tab. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Ross, pastor of small groups at email@example.com.
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Jordan & Rachel Hutchins, 900 N. Jackson, Apt. 10, Media, 484 523 3937
Mondays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Shelly McKeown, 411 S. Scott Ave., Glenolden, 215 901 2593
Tuesdays, 8:00 – 9:30 pm, Lindsey & Isaiah McAleese, 37 Scarlet Ave., Aston, 610 945 6299
Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Jenny Harris and Russell Huffman, 808 Lorraine Dr, Springfield, 267 235 6240
Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Nancy Wright, Video conference group, 610 613 4265
Wednesdays, 8:00 – 9:30 pm, Lisa Dalton, Glen Mills, Call for location, 302 438 1672
Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm Nekesa Gregg, Rachel Martin, Duane Belgrave, 791 Farnum Rd. Media, 267 216 8672
Fridays, 10:00 – 11:30 am, Kelly Lunkwitz, 22 War Trophy Lane, Media, 484 883 2411