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Jun 24, 2018


KJV1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
NRSV1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Notice the similarities and differences in the translations presented. 


What does this scripture mean to you?Has it had a different effect this reading as compared to times past?How does this scripture make you feel?
Continue breathing deeply as you ponder this meaning.
Meditation on scripture / bible verse meditation:
I think at times we confuse the power of faith with faith itself. I love this scripture because it demonstrates faith to be what it is. It is not a perfect knowledge of something. It is not getting what we want. It is not redemption and salvation. Those things are the power that God has given to faith, but faith itself is just the hope that we as believers hold in the God, his power and word. If we become uncomfortable with faith and instead desire only sure knowledge, we will never be able to hang on to faith. 
Think for a moment. How important is perfect understanding in your relationship with God? 
If we become overly obsessed with assurances and not concerned enough with hope then we will miss what Paul teaches us here. He lays out stories from the prophets and shows how they moved forward, not understanding the end. It is easy for us to look back on their stories as bedrock, but most of the time the prophets walked by faith, many times they had no idea what would come text. They had one step to take and they trusted God and had hope in His guidance. 
Take the next few moments and take stock of the state of your faith. As your faith grows and matures you will gain hope in all the different aspects of what He teaches us in scripture but if you are finding yourself in doubt of what you truly have faith in. I suggest that you ask God to strengthen your faith and hope in his role as your savior. Once we trust that he will care for us, we are prepared to become what he wants us to become. We become ready to change through his spirit, which is part of the power of God through faith. If we find ourselves in need of deeper fulfillment, it comes through trusting God to help us become more than we are today. If we don’t want to always be only what we have been, we must be willing to become something more. 
Meditation of Prayer:Pray as directed by the Spirit.Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.
Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials. 
Meditate and Visualize Positive Change in Your Life:Implement the kind of change you want to see in your life.  Length, Intensity, Modality, Freshness, Conclusion:Each week.
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Final Question: What is a way that you can increase your faith in God?
Final thought -Even these people who put such trust in God and maintained that hope throughout life, did not receive the payout in this life. Think about that for a moment. These prophets were so close to receiving God’s word and many heard his voice directly and saw visions. Yet even they went to their graves without perfect understanding but they had full trust, and hope that God would be faithful. And he was for them and he will be for you and me if we have faith in Him. We can have hope that he will guide us, redeem us, and justify us, allowing us into the Kingdom of Heaven.