Faith Tested and Proven (Feb. 1, Monday)

The word for today is “tested.” Today on the “Forefeast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple,” we read Hebrews 11:17-23, 27-31. In this passage, the apostle recalls the faith of those who endured numerous and unspeakable trials “by faith.”  The apostle begins, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son…” (vs. 17). Consider what faith empowered and inspired the people of God to do: offered up his only son, blessed Esau and Jacob, blessed the sons of Joseph, gave instructions for his burial in the holy land, hid the baby Moses from being slain, left the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace and Egypt…

Hope Motivates and Directs Our Lives (Mon. Jan 4)

The word of the day is “faith.”  In today’s reading of Hebrews 11:17-23, 27-31, we see the power of faith to bring our hope near to us so that it informs and shapes our lives.   In the preceding verse, we find that Paul speaks of the hope for a “better, that is, a heavenly country… a city prepared for the faithful (vs. Hebrews 11:16).  All the examples of faith that follow are instances that depend on and move that hope closer to its realization. Faith Moves Hope Forward For example, Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (vs. 17)  looked forward to the sacrifices of God’s only Son.  The blessing of Jacob and Isaac concerned the “things to come’ (20).  The blessing of…

Not Apart from Us (Sun. Dec.20)

The word of the day is “faith.” Today’s reading from Hebrews is a memorial of the Old Testament saints who by faith persevered in the hope for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.  In Hebrews 11:9-10, 17-23, 32-40, we read of the faithful witness of those who endured incredible suffering as they firmly clung to God’s promise, a pledge that is now fulfilled in the birth of the Savior. Heroes and Heroines of Faith In today’s passage, the writer of Hebrews names the ancients: Abel, Enoch, and Noah.  He recalls the patriarchs: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob. The apostle brings to mind: Joseph, Moses, Joshua, deon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets  (vs. 11:4-32). Then he recounts…