Friday Morning: 21 Jun 2019 – Hebrews 11:17-31 ~ Faith is tested.

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Hebrews 11:17-31 (NLT)

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau.

It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff.

It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.

It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.

It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.

It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned.

It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
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Morning Reflection:

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him.
– Hebrews 11:17

It’s difficult to get beyond the first couple of verses in today’s reading. God had big plans for Abraham – he would become the father of many nations with descendants as many as the stars in the skies. And yet, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to give up not only the son he loved, but also his hopes and dreams for the future.

How could Abraham do such a thing – so counter to the promises that God had made to him? Here’s how Abraham reasoned – If Isaac dies, God can raise him from the dead. And so God did – so to speak – Isaac was spared and God remained faithful to his covenantal promise.

The Gospel of John reminds us –

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

– John 3:16

And the Apostle Paul pleads with us –

I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.
Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship him
. – Romans 12:1

Abraham was willing to continue to trust and obey God, even if it meant giving up his son. And God himself did just that – he gave up his Son so that we might live forever.

Questions for consideration:

  • What do you think it means to give yourself as a living and holy sacrifice to God? Please explain.
  • Abraham was willing to give up a loved one in trust and obedience to God? If God asked that of you, who comes to mind and how do you think you would respond? Please explain.
  • Have you received a promise from God that is yet to be fulfilled in this life? Please explain.
  • What does it cost you to trust and obey God now, believing he will fulfill his promise to you – if not now, then in eternity? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Life Support Prayer:

 Heavenly Father: Pour out Your Spirit on all who advocate for the protection of human life. Deliver us from anger triggered by Christian apathy toward the desperate circumstances of the widows and orphans living among us. Fill us with a spirit of kindness and self-control, and give us the words to speak the truth, gently and lovingly – that we may act with love and compassion toward those who disagree with us. Thank You Lord for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins – remind us that He died for all of us, and that He alone will judge the living and the dead. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer for Knowing and Loving God:

O God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you: Help us so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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“Before The Throne Of God” – Lee Scott

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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