Who are your heroes of the faith? Who are the ones you remember with a smile and a desire to follow their example? It’s good to recall the people who lift our vision and challenge us to seek God’s highest in life.

One of my heroes is Joe Bayly. Although I never met him, his writings have greatly influenced me through their consistent ring of reality. Joe didn’t try to be controversial, but he wasn’t afraid to speak the truth plainly. When he wrote about death, he spoke from the heartbreak of losing three sons, and from the hope gained by clinging to Christ through it all. I had the impression that he never wrote an inch beyond his experience. Joe was real.

When I find myself faking it and talking better than I live, Joe comes to mind. Unlike the scribes whose hypocrisy or “play-acting” undermined their words and their influence, Joe challenges me to pursue reality, honesty, and power—hallmarks of the Son of God.

The writer of Hebrews said, “Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12).

Godly heroes spur us to action. “Be encouraged and challenged!” they tell us. “Get with it today!”