Week 7 Day 1
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Imagine you are promised a gift and live expectantly with faith that you will in fact receive the gift because the who has promised is faithful. Then one day as promised the gift arrives. You open the package and there it is just as you knew it would be. As you held the gift and saw it with your eyes, your faith disappeared. Why? It was because it was no longer necessary. Faith had served its purpose. Faith keeps your hope fixed on what is to come until sight takes over. The reason these men of God died still living by faith is because if they had experienced the fullness of God’s promise, then faith would be unnecessary. That’s why those who have not seen and yet believe are blessed. Because what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal. To believe now what is not yet seen is not to live in delusion but to live in the fullness of reality. What we have now is valuable, meaningful, wonderful, but it is a partial not full experience. Right now, we get to run our fingers through the icing and get a taste; then we will get the cake itself. So of course, the ancients were living by faith when they died, and of course they had not received the things promised. If they had experienced it in full, then faith would not be required. But the fact that they died without having fully experienced the promise does not mean they died empty or frustrated. The opposite is true. What they experienced of God in this life became a “memory of the future” for them. They died with full hope. There are stories of the last words of men and women who lived their lives far from God. Some of these stories tell of the fear, the terror, the disillusionment in that final moment of realization. “It really does end…my life really is over.” We will all die in faith. Some will die with misplaced faith: where they put their confidence will not prove to be a secure place. Some will die with well-placed faith. Their confidence in God will prove to be the only secure place. Close the gap today. See what God has done, see what God is doing, be confident in what he will do. Let that confidence impact what concerns you most today.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.