August 7, 2017
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-13
John: 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
Hebrews 11: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 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. 9 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. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[b] considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 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.
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, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. …….
This past week I was at Chautauqua in New York, 90 miles south of Buffalo, attending a week-long series of sermons, seminars and teachings on The Spiritual Power of Humor. I heard wonderful jokes from Christians, Jews and Muslims. Like the notation that we know that Isaac was 12 when Abraham was ready to sacrifice him in accordance with God's instructions. Had he been a teenager, at age 13, it wouldn't have been a sacrifice. Or the new commandment: Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted. The presenters included laugh-out-loud jokes, as well as thoughtful, humorous statements. Like the fact that Billy Graham's wife Ruth saw a roadside sign that she wanted put on her tombstone. Sure enough, you can go see it in Charlotte, NC. It reads: Construction Completed: Thank you for your patience.