* Noah and his family were saved from the worldwide flood merely because Noah took God at His Word, building the ark exactly as God commanded him—sparing no detail. (Genesis 7:5) Noah’s very life (and his families lives) hinged on his obedience to God. Had Noah compromised by making substitutions or taking shortcuts in building the ark, I truly believe his story would not have had a happy ending.
* Jochebed's faith in God saved Moses when she had no choice but to bundle baby Moses up and send him down the Nile river to save his life from Pharaoh’s soldiers, who were killing all the Hebrew baby boys. For by grace Moses life was saved by his mother’s faith, and that not of herself, it was the gift of God, lest she ever boast. And what a gift God gave her! She not only had the peace of mind that Moses survived the Nile and Pharaoh’s soldiers, but she got hired by Pharaoh’s daughter to take Moses back home and nurse him until he was old enough to be weaned. Incredible!
* Moses when cornered, with the Israelites, at the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army charging straight for them declared, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-14) Moses confidence was not in himself, or the people of Israel, that any of them should boast. Rather, he placed the utmost confidence in the Lord, by His grace, to protect and deliver the Israelites—that would be a gift of God for sure! And were they ever saved through faith, and not of themselves, it was the gift of God, not of works, lest any of them should boast.
* Ezra when he refused a military escort to journey with him from Babylon to Jerusalem. Warren Wiersbe in his Old Testament Commentary, sums up the amazing faith of Ezra in traveling without a military escort:
"Here were several thousand Jews, inexperienced in travel and warfare, carrying a fortune in gold and silver, led by a scholar, not a soldier, and planning to travel through dangerous territory that was infested with brigands, and yet their leader did not want an army to protect them! “If anyone deserves the “Great Faith Award,” it’s Ezra!"
For by grace Ezra was saved by faith, not of himself. It was the gift of God, and when Ezra go to Jerusalem safe and sound, he couldn’t stop praising God! The only boasting Ezra was doing was boasting in the Lord! (Psalm 34:2)
Lest Anyone Should Boast
When God called Gideon to do battle against the Midianites, Gideon did not feel the least bit qualified. However, when he amassed an army of nearly ten thousand men, I’m sure Gideon’s mind was put more at ease. Yet, God told Gideon that was too many men. God whittled Gideon’s army down to a mere three hundred men! Pastor Chuck Smith explains, "Now what was the purpose of God? To keep the men from glorying or boasting in what God was going to do."
Pastor Chuck Smith goes on to say:
"You see, God knows the tendency of our old nature to want to receive glory. God knows that is a part of our nature, and therefore He placed salvation outside of our capacity, outside of our ability. He made our salvation on the basis of His grace, His work, His work through Jesus Christ and my believing that work. And then He gave me the faith to believe it."
I am so glad our salvation is by grace though faith, that it is not of ourselves or else heaven would be full of people boasting of what they did to get there--if indeed anyone could bear the weight of securing their own eternal salvation. No doubt that is why Jesus came, because He knew that was a burden we could never bear, so He bore it for us on our behalf.
When we, who’ve put our faith in Jesus, go to heaven we will all know it was not of ourselves, it was purely the gift of God and we will corporately praise and worship the Lord for all He’s done so we could spend eternity with Him in heaven. How glorious it will be worshiping the Lord together forever!
Next time you are faced with something that looks impossible, remember how God has already handled the most impossible odds you were up against--securing your eternal salvation. Trust in the Lord with whatever your facing and He will be faithful to work it out in His perfect way, so that you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was not of yourself, it was a gift of God. And when that happens, how your heart will beam with praise like David. "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)
Question for you: What blesses your heart most about this promise in Ephesians 2:8
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Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.