Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hebrews 11:13-26

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. 14 People 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.

Questions to consider:
  • What are the attitudes of the people to whom God made promises?
  • What is God’s attitude toward these people?
  • Where will God ultimately fulfill his promises?
  • How will you (a) identification with Christ and (b) faith in God’s promises affect the choices you face today? in the future?

Possibilities for prayer:

It’s kind of intense to think that the aforementioned people did not receive the things that they were promised, and yet lived lives of FAITH. It seems challenging to us that these people were longing after something better than they could obtain here in this world--are we seeking after the same thing? God’s plan for us, the “city that is to come” that God has prepared and is preparing for us? Today, let’s ask for the ability to have vision for the city that God has for us, and to be counted among those who live lives by faith.