August 5, 2020
Hebrews 11:9-16
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.  And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
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, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.  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.

New International Version (NIV)
My parents reared my brothers and me in Germany, mostly.  As he had during the Vietnam conflict, our dad received orders to cross the ocean, this time not the Pacific but the Atlantic.  So we did.  Growing up in another country has its distinct advantages.  Even when we landed in the tiny village of Schrollbach, right in the middle of second grade, I knew the world was a bigger place than I had known.  There we found and joined a multicultural church.  There I received Christ.  There I was baptized.  There the German people were very kind to my family.  There I led my friends to Christ.  Nearly every day, though, I longed to come back to America. 

Abraham’s sojourn began when he obeyed God’s imperious summons to get up and out of Ur of the Chaldees.  He didn’t know where he was going.  Do you wonder if Sarai wondered what they were doing?  She traded a permanent dwelling in Ur for a tent in the desert.  Why?  Because she and Abraham had a faith which enabled them to obey even when they couldn’t see.  Why?  They knew someday they would go home to a city whose architect and builder is God.   

“We are those kind of people . . .” says the writer of this sermonic letter to the Hebrews.  “We are not those who shrink back, but those who have faith and are saved” (10:39).  Faith is confidence and assurance.  Many of the greatest people in Hebrew history appear in this Hall of Faith.  They trusted God against all odds.  Yet they did not immediately receive the promise.  In fact, the writer says they waited so that together with us they might be made perfect (11:39-40). 

Someday, we will all live in the city.  It will come down out of heaven to a new earth.  We trust in Christ here so we can live with him there.  Everything we do in this life after we first follow Christ is preparing us for the place prepared for us.  If we love our homes here, how much will we love living in our Father’s house.  Even the best house on this earth was never built to last forever.  Compared to our permanent dwelling, a palatial mansion here would be like a tent.  Say the words of the old Spiritual song aloud with me:  “This world is not my home.  I am just passin’ through.”  

Pray with me:         
Faithful Father, fill us with faith.  Grant us hearts to trust you today and for eternity.  We know we can never please you without faith.  Remind us that our world here is temporary.  Fill us with hope for the city which you are preparing for us.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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