Read Hebrews 11
What faith is, what it does, and how you develop it (Heb. 11; Rom. 10:17). Like a faithful parent, the Lord disciplines His children (Heb. 12:5-13); so listen and obey when He speaks (12:14-29), because He is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (13:8) — never out of date.
The history of the people of God confirms that some endured hostile circumstances and suffering intensely, yet remained faithful and fulfilled His will. In the "Heroes of Faith Hall of Fame" (Heb. 11:1-38), we are given a review of some of them. By faith Abraham, when he was tried (tested), offered up Isaac . . . Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. . . . By faith Moses . . . refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (11:17-26). The Old Testament men and women listed in this chapter chose to remain faithful to God, regardless of discouraging circumstances, suffering, opposition, and even family members who hindered them.
This reminds us of how much more our Savior has made Himself available to us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Surely, we too, by His enabling strength, can lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and . . . run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us (12:1). The runners who win the race of life are looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising (thinking little of) the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (12:2). Every born-again Christian will enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:3-5). To follow Christ and live the Christian life demands self-denial, discipline, and wholehearted love for the Lord and His Word. These characteristics distinguish the true Christian from the self-indulgence practiced by the world. We must decide for ourselves, by a prayerful reading of the Scriptures and self-examination, if there are worldly hindrances to our spiritual lives that need to be dealt with and eliminated.
The race of which Paul writes is a life of faithfulness and obedience. Jesus said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Thought for Today:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand (Phil. 4:4-5).
For Heb. 11:18: See Gen. 21:12. Heb. 12:5-6: See Prov. 3:11-12. Heb. 12:12: See Is. 35:3. Heb. 12:26: See Hag. 2:6. Heb. 13:5: See Josh. 1:5; also Deut. 31:8. Heb. 13:6: See Ps. 118:6.
11:29 assaying attempting; 13:9 divers various.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by A Family That Loves Jesus • Staff: Linda Kennon • Government Official: Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (LA) and Sen. Mark Warner (VA) • Country: Mali (10 million) in West Africa • Major languages: French and Bambara • Religious freedom despite Muslim majority • 81% Muslim; 17% animism and spirit worship; 2% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Humble yourself and reverence the Word of God; He will look upon you with affection (Is. 66:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 2:21