Introduction to By Faith Alone
A Personal Note
I am thankful to pastor Neil Tomba at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas, who through his series on “Developing a Real Life Faith,” gave me the idea for this Bible study. I had always wanted to do a character study on the characters from Hebrews 11. As Neil took a birds-eye approach to the characters, I decided to do a more in-depth look. Thus, the concept for this Bible study was born.
God has truly shown me much about my own faith and how hard it is for me to walk by faith. When I first wrote this study, I was in the process of raising financial support for an Amazon mission trip to Brazil. It was easy to walk by faith when I saw God bringing in the support, because I could see His hand at work. But is that walking by faith, or by sight? It became much tougher when God’s hand became silent, and the support stopped coming in. But God wanted me to still trust Him even though I couldn’t see Him working. That is what walking by faith is all about. I wish I could tell you that I successfully walk by faith all the time, but I have struggled in this process, and I realize how small my faith really is. That’s when I have to make a choice. I either choose to focus on my lack of faith and get discouraged, or I choose to go before the Lord, confess my small faith, and ask Him to give me the grace to wait on Him and to walk by faith even when I can’t see His hand.
I pray that as you work through this study God would also reveal to you where you are in the area of walking by faith. This study has gone beyond “head knowledge” for me and has penetrated my heart, showing me what is inside. It was a hard lesson and painful at times, but well worth the process and the end result. As you begin this study, each week has work spread out over five days. I encourage you to not wait until the night before Bible study to do all the lessons for the week. If you rush through the lessons without taking the time to let God speak to you, you may miss out on what He wants to teach you. Take each lesson and let God speak to your heart. Listen to what He’s saying to you from His Word. Keep a journal and write out your thoughts and prayers. I pray that God and His Word would penetrate your heart and challenge and encourage you to walk by faith alone, not by sight.
Growing together in Him,
How to Make the Most of This Study
This study is designed to help you consistently spend time in God’s Word. Yes, you could probably do all the lessons in one sitting, but you will gain more from the study if you do it day by day, taking time to reflect on each day’s passage and main thought(s). It is important to ponder and meditate on Scripture, allowing God’s Spirit to speak to you and work in you through His Word.
Each week is divided into five days, and each day is divided into four sections. “Looking to God’s Word” and “Looking Upward” direct you to the Scripture for that day, guiding you through observation and interpretation questions. “Looking Deeper” is optional. It is for those who want to go further in their study of the lesson. It will direct you to other related passages to deepen your personal study. This section is not required and will not be discussed in your small group time unless the group as a whole decides to include them. However, if you have time to go deeper, this section can enhance your personal study. “Looking Reflectively” is designed for application and reflection on the lesson. Each day I have given a “nugget” (the statements in bold) on which you can meditate throughout the day. This area of the study is designed to take the head knowledge and make it heart knowledge.
The Word of God changes lives. I pray that each of us will see life change as a result of His Word working in us.