Hebrews 11:8-16 (NRSV)
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old--and Sarah herself was barren--because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore."
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, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 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.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
- Hebrews 13:7 (NRSV)
I already missed my good friend, Rich. On the plane trip to Phoenix for his funeral, I looked out at the clouds. I concentrated on the plane's wing, watching for tiny movements along the wing's edge and noticing how the pilot used these flight-control devices to keep the plane level and the ride smooth.
Rich had been my mentor and friend; he kept me out of trouble. Through his influence, I began to walk with Christ. Rich was not perfect, but he was available. Looking back, I see that Rich was part of God's plan for my life.
I thought about the devices on the wings of the plane and how their almost imperceptible movements changed our flight. The subtle influence of other people, their acts of kindness, advice, friendship, or discipline can make a difference that lasts for a lifetime and even for eternity.
Prayer: Thank you, God, for those who helped us come to faith and for those whose influence helps us to continue to grow. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Who has been part of God's plan for my life?
My friends in faith
By Dick Lewis, California