Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Source of our Faith (11:1-3; 12:1-2). Chastenings (12:3-29). Live Christ-like (13:1-9); Separation and worship (13:10-14); Sacrifice of praise (13:15-16); Walk obediently (13:17-19). Prayer for each believer (13:20-21).
Believers in Christ, knowing He will soon rule the world, see the hand of God in ordinary experiences such as where we shall live, our occupation, and who our friends are. To the unbeliever, these decisions seem to be entirely in the sphere of man's own judgment. Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God (11:8-10).
Although the promise was never fulfilled during his lifetime, Abraham saw beyond the grave. He knew God did not deceive, even though in death he possessed only a grave in the promised land. They who know Christ best and have trusted God most are always the first to say that life is a series of disappointments to human reasoning. But our disappointments are His appointments. And we know that all things (without reservation) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Abraham is spoken of as the Friend of God (James 2:23) and the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4-5). Note, too, that Abraham was a wanderer, a homeless man who lived in tents as a mere visitor in the land of promise — a sojourner. Yes, the thought of being homeless seems to be incompatible with happiness, but Abraham's life does illustrate that the great secret to contentment in life is faith in the faithfulness of God. It was also said: Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Romans 4:3). The promises of God may seem at first to primarily assure an abundance of earthly possessions, which we may be tempted to make our primary desire. However, life seldom fulfills God's promises as we first understand them.
As one thing after another disappoints us and we hopefully grow in faith and not in greed, we recognize how God is leading us to see beyond life's unsatisfying deceptive rewards to eternal incorruptible treasures in the heavenly city as Abraham did. Abraham illustrates the inseparability of faith and obedience of let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Thought for Today:
Isn't it amazing that although the things of this life never satisfy us, we still hold them in such value. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matt. 6:21).
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 =b> attempting; 13:9 divers =b> various.
Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Staff: Benjamin Wallace • Government Official: Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (LA) • Country: Sierra Leone (5 million) in western Africa • Major language: English • Increasing restrictions on Christian work in some areas • 50% belief in river spirits, medicine men, and witchcraft; 39% Muslim; 7% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for His mercy (Ps. 136:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33