Daily Reading 1-3-17
Hebrews 11:13-22 The Message (MSG)
To be a Christ follower is to be a person who lives, moves, and has his/her being by faith in the love of God. It is easy to have faith that God loves us when everything in our life is going well. We confidently tell others we are blessed! But, what happens to our faith when we face things we never thought would happen? What happens to our trust in God when we find ourselves pressed by life or attacked by evil? Are we still blessed? According to Scripture, it is during the most difficult of times that our faith is tested. During those times will we stand obedient to the Word of God and trust Him to work things together for our good?
13-16 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.
17-19 By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him—and this after he had already been told, “Your descendants shall come from Isaac.” Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that’s what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar.
20 By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau.
21 By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph’s sons in turn, blessing them with God’s blessing, not his own—as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff.
22 By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial.
Prayer: Father, in this new year I pray for wisdom and revelation to see you at work in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. Holy Spirit, help me to grow in my trust and my faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.