Tag: died in faith

Looking for a city!

Scripture reading for November 16th: Hebrews 13:1-25

“For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)  Jews in the land of Israel viewed the city of Jerusalem as the city of God’s house.  They felt that God would protect this city forever and that it would be safe. But  God did allow the city to be captured and destroyed by the Babylonians.   The writer of Hebrews was telling these Jewish believers that this city of Jerusalem was not the permanent city that God had prepared.  This city and temple was now obsolete and passing away. Jesus had warned of it’s destruction because of the Jews rejection of Him.  (Matthew 23:37-39)   Faith looked ahead to God’s ultimate city that He was preparing for them!

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he didn’t know where he was going.  . .  .he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8, 9b, 10)  Abraham knew of this heavenly city and even as he lived in a tent in the promised land was looking with faith to this heavenly city to be constructed by God Himself.  His offspring also had this hope!

“All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  . .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.” (Hebrews 11:13-14, 16)  All those early pioneers of the Jewish faith understood about the heavenly city and promise of a permanent dwelling place with God.  This faith pleased God and in Jesus Christ has prepared this heavenly city!  Some of Jesus last instructions to His disciples included the promise that in Father’s house were many rooms and He was preparing a place for them!  He is coming back to take all His followers to be with Him in that beautiful place!

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Faith’s victories!

Scripture reading for November 13th: Hebrews 11:17-31

Faith in God’s word causes us to be winners in life and even death!  In fact, it is impossible to lose when we live by faith.  He watches over His word to make sure it comes to pass!  Reading about these great men and women of God who believed and acted on God’s word should inspire us to live even more passionately by faith!

Abraham obeyed God when he was told by God to take his only son, Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice.  Abraham had been told by God that it would be through his offspring that the promises made to him would be fulfilled.  “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:19)   God was faithful to His word, and provided the sacrifice in place of Isaac.  It was through Isaac that the promised seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, eventually came.

Moses was another hero recorded in Scripture who had to live by his faith.  Moses was aware of God’s word about him given to his parents.  He chose to believe God about his mission of delivering God’s people instead of enjoying the passing pleasures of sin in Egypt.  (Hebrews 11:24-28)  He refused the treasures of Egypt while looking for the reward God promised.  By faith he led the people of Israel out of Egypt and persevered as if he could see the invisible God.  He offered the passover lamb, along with others of faith and was spared from the destroying angel!  Faith lead the nation to victory and freedom!

Many others also lived by faith and obtained God’s smile of approval!  Joshua led the nation in circling the walls of Jericho and saw them fall by God’s power.  Rahab, the prostitute, hid the spies knowing God’s word and believing Him.  Gideon, Samson, Barak, David and Samuel all led the nation in victory over their enemies by following God’s infallible word!

“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35b)  Hebrews records that faith sometimes looked to the world as failure.  Some chose to suffer rather than deny their faith or violate God’s word.  They looked with eyes of faith for the reward God promised.  All these ancients died in faith, patiently looking to God for the promise.  What an inspiration for us!

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