From Pastor Perry

Hebrews 11:32–40 (ESV)
Heroes of Faith
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Today’s reading wraps up the Heroes of Faith.  I know I was tired of having a new hero every verse which was slowing down my progress through Hebrews.  There was just too much to say about each verse, I couldn’t just blow through it.  Well, I think the writer of Hebrews got tired of writing about the heroes, because he takes on a shot gun approach and covers a large group of heroes and groups them together.  Well that makes it easy for me.  The Lutheran Study Bible sums up the Heroes of Faith by stating: “Faith trusts even without sight what God has set forth in His Word. True faith is active in love and is steadfast under persecution. By His resurrection, Christ conquered death and now provides His Holy Spirit to strengthen us.”  I want to take the focus off the Heroes and put the focus on us today.  We believe in Jesus Christ and trust in his forgiveness and gift of eternal life.  We can’t see Jesus or heaven, yet we believe.  We are blessed because we believe, and yet have not seen.

I pray: O Lord, I know I have not seen you, but I believe in you.  I see your works, your miracles, and I hear your Word through the Scriptures.  You gave me my faith.  I didn’t ask for you to die for my sins, but you did it anyway out of love.  Thank you for everything you have done for me.  Amen.

Hebrews 11:31 (ESV)
Heroes of Faith
31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

Another short reading.  It is interesting that Rahab makes the Heroes of Faith listing.  Rahab is a prostitute.  Clearly not approved by the Lord, HOWEVER..... she helps out Joshua and helps hide his spies inside of Jericho until they can escape.  God forgives those who repent, even prostitutes.  She was a heroine for her role in helping Joshua in the Battle of Jericho.  She is also in the blood line of Jesus.   It is comforting to me that God works through many people and forgives all who repent.

I pray: Oh Lord, when you need to use me, help me to not be afraid, and to stand strong like Rahab.  Protect me from all harm and danger.  Amen.

Hebrews 11:30 (ESV)
Heroes of Faith
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.

Today’s reading is about Joshua, a hero of faith.  Joshua crosses over the Jordan River and is to attack the walled and secure city of Jericho.  God gives him very unusual instructions.  Have the priests, ark of the covenant, trumpet players and army march around the closed city’s walls one time and blowing their trumpets.  The next day, they repeated it.  And again, and again until the seventh day.  On the seventh day, they marched around the closed city walls seven times and on the seventh time, they all shouted and the walls of the city came tumbling down.  Sounds stupid?  Yes, but it wasn’t Joshua that caused this to happen, but God.  Joshua was simply following the Lord’s instructions.  What happens when we try to do things our way instead of God’s way?

I pray: Lord, too often, we choose our way instead of your’s.  Many times, we do not understand your ways and we think we know better.  Forgive us when we choose to be God instead of letting you be God.  Thank you for sending your son Jesus to go to the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.  Amen.

Hebrews 11:29 (ESV)
Heroes of Faith
29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned.

This is a short verse, but I have been having a lot of them, because the Heroes of Faith section in Hebrews 11 flies through them.  I had to stop at this verse, because this verse concludes Moses and tomorrow’s will be about Joshua.  One of the greatest miracles (one of them), is the parting of the Red Sea.  There were roughly 600,000 men who crossed.  If each of these men were married and had at least 2 kids, then we are talking about 2.4 million people.  This is probably a conservative guess.  That is a huge amount of people crossing over on “dry land.”  I hear the History Channel trying to explain that the chariots got bogged down in the mud and the Israelites attacked and killed them.  The latest Moses movie called Exodus, also botches the scene by having both parties treading through water.  The Bible is very clear that it was “dry ground.”  The “dry ground” adds to the miracle of the Red Sea crossing.  Moses led the people by faith.

I pray: O Lord, use me in my community to lead people to your heavenly kingdom.  You are the potter, I am the clay.  You dictate what I will be, not the other way around. Amen.

Hebrews 11:27–28 (ESV)
Heroes of Faith
27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

Moses is definitely a hero of faith.  God told him to go talk to the Pharaoh, a man who helped raise Moses, and tell him “Let my people go!”  This would not be a welcome message to Pharaoh, and he would... and did, resist Moses.  He also delivered a message that would cause the first born males to die (non-Israelites), including the Pharaoh’s own son.  They were saved by the blood of the lamb from the Passover that was painted on the door frame.  Today, we are saved by the blood... of Jesus Christ.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  He is our Passover lamb.  Moses was a hero for delivering these messages.  He was scared and drug his brother along.  But he still delivered the messages from God.

I pray: O Lord, often we find ourselves worried about what others think about our faith.  Help us to be bold, like Moses, and stand in the face of death to proclaim our faith.  Amen.

Latest comments

06.05 | 23:42

Hey everybody, I'm locked out due to my password. Waiting to get password reset so I can update. (05/06/2015)

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05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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