Our fathers and mothers of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 have this witness, this testimony; they believed God and it was accounted to them as righteousness. It has been recorded for all of eternity that these were faithful and true in believing that God was and is who He says He is; the Great I AM.
This weekend the nation in which we live celebrates the memory of those who have paid the ultimate price. We remember their sacrifice on our behalf. As Believers we also have those who blazed a trail before us; a trail of faith, stability in the midst of great trial and opposition, and successfully finished the race that was set before them. The finish line was crossed successfully!
What was their mindset? What was their goal, their desire, their purpose in life? Verses 14 through 16 of Hebrews 11 gives a snapshot ~
" 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. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. "
They sought a heavenly country; Abraham sought a city whose foundations were laid by God. They were unwavering in their pursuit of this city. They did not consider returning to the place from which they came; I am sure they had opportunity to do so because of the great trials and temptations they suffered in their travels on this troubled planet.
There is nothing unpatriotic about seeking another country; a heavenly one. Believers are citizens of another nation, an eternal nation that will never suffer recession, depression, violence and sin. Our belief, actions and desires to be found worthy of this heavenly Kingdom established by God makes us model citizens on the earth. We visit the sick, feed the hungry, pray for rain and protection from storms (which also gives protection to those around us!).
Model citizens of the highest order! We do not steal, murder, hate or commit random acts of violence. According to the Word of God, we are distinguished by our love. Our fruits are righteousness and peace.
As we remember our fellow citizens in the United States of America who paid the price for our freedom, let us likewise remember our fathers and mothers of the faith who have been given as examples and as witnesses to this great journey God has allowed us to participate in.
Honor and remembrance of these; Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Deborah, Gideon, King David, Samuel, Paul, Stephen, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), Jeremiah, Isaiah, Nahum, Amos, Jonah, Peter, Daniel and a multitude of others. And our ultimate remembrance of Christ and His suffering, His example, and His faithfulness to the Father's will-over and above His own will.
Just as the Children of Israel were instructed to gather 12 stones from the dry river bed as a remembrance of the deliverance of God when they crossed over on dry ground, we also should remember the great cloud of Witnesses who give us courage, faith and an example of how to complete our individual race successfully.
Our faith overcomes the world!
God IS Who He says He is;
and we are His children!