Faith Tested and Proven (Mon. Jan. 17)

The word of  the day is “tested.”  In today’s reading of Hebrews 11:17-23, 27-31, 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). How Faith Empowered and Inspired 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 and chose to suffer with the people, sprinkled…

A Better and Heavenly Country (Fri. Jan. 14)

The word of the day is “country.”  As we begin the new year, hardly anyone of us would like to go back to the difficulties of the past year.  We wish for a better time ahead despite the current challenges our society faces.  Our passage of Hebrews 11:8, 11-16 also writes about hope.  But it is not a hope for a better life here on earth.  t is the longing for celestial world far above the struggles of this life.  Thus, the apostle writes about those who have spent their entire lives in the expectation of a greater kingdom.  He says, “but now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called…