January 14, 2021
Genesis 15:6
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
New International Version (NIV)
                 Who were the best of the best among our sports heroes?  We could go to Cooperstown, New York or Canton, Ohio to find the largest exhibits in the Baseball and Football halls of fame.  Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth might be the most famous hitters.  Our own Nolan Ryan might top the pitchers.  In football we might see Bart Starr or Roger Staubach or Earl Campbell.  But what if we wanted to see the Hall of Fame of faith?  We would have to go to Hebrews 11.  The writer gave more space to Abraham and Sarah’s family than anybody else.  Abraham is the head of the “Hall of Faith.”  Why?

                We might start by defining faith.  The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).   Harold Senkbeil describes faith as “the hand that grasps the promises of God, reliance on God, trust in God.”  Abraham lived by faith.  When God told him to leave his family and his home to become a nomad, he willingly obeyed.  Later when God blessed him and told him he would be a blessing, he trusted God.  In our passage today, God promises him that he will have many descendants.  Once again, Abraham believed.  God counted this faith as righteousness.

                In the New Testament, the writer of Hebrews and the Apostle Paul take Abraham’s example and combine it with Habakkuk’s teaching, “The righteous will live by faith.”  So Abraham becomes the prime example of faith.  Remember the acronym:  “Forsaking all, I trust him.”  This was Abraham’s story.  Against all odds he trusted God.  Do we?  The full story of the people of faith is still being written.  The only way to get right with God is to trust him.  It turns out that Heaven’s Hall of Fame of faith is still open and adding members.  Every day Is a good day to believe God and follow him in obedience.  Today, for example.
Pray with me:         
Gracious Father, thank you for blessing us so richly.  Make us a blessing today.  Let us take the grace and comfort you have given us and share them freely with others today.  When you look at us today, we pray that you will find us full of faith in you.  Lord, we believe.  Help our unbelief.  Train us to trust you until we become triumphant.  We ask in the name of your Faithful Son, Jesus.  Amen.  
Scripture memorization for this week:    
Hebrews 11:6
 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
New International Version (NIV)
Our 2021 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations Bible reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy here:
https://www.tallowood.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Read-Through-Bible-Download.pdf
We would love for you to join us as we read through the Bible in one year, while still having the flexibility of reading 5 days per week.  In addition, I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  We will also memorize 2 scriptures each week.  As we journal together this year,  Robby Gallaty’s H.E.A.R. plan is a good resource: Highlight a verse that stands out to you, Explain what it means, Apply that truth to your life and Respond to what you’ve read with an action or prayer.
Joyfully, 
Duane 

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