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Preparing For The Lord's Day


Preparing for the Lord's Day
Jesus is Better

In our passage for this Sunday, the writer summarizes the depth of faith that the patriarchs, and in particular, Abraham and Sarah, along with Isaac and Jacob, had when he wrote in verse 13, "These all died in faith." You might call their faith, "death-defying faith," because even in death, their belief in God's promises never wavered. Even if they didn't know how he would fulfill them or when he would fulfill them, they believed God would fulfill them. The same can also be said of our own Rivermont saints. As they see the end of their life approach, their eyes are firmly fixed upon Jesus. Their faith in Christ and his promises are strong, even the promises he's made that he hasn't fulfilled yet. It is very much a death-defying faith and I want that for my life and I trust you do as well. How do we get there?

The writer gives us three ways the patriarchs and our Rivermont saints live with such faith. First, they live by faith as strangers and exiles on this earth. They understand that they don't belong to this world and therefore resist the temptation to knit themselves to it. Secondly, they live by faith for a future homeland...a home that Christ himself has established...a home that is ultimately in Christ. Finally, they live by faith in light of God's approval. Because of their faith in the Messiah, God was not ashamed to call them their God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is also the God of Michael, Andy, and Eleanor. To come prepared for worship take time this week to read and meditate upon Hebrews 11:13-16, Genesis 23:4, Jeremiah 29:5-7, John 14:1-6, 1 Peter 1:3-6, and this blog post from Gavin Ortlund on C. S. Lewis' understanding of heaven as home from The Last Battle in the Chronicles of Narnia Series. 

As we gather this first Sunday of Christmastide and the last day of 2023, we will join our hearts in song, singing the Hymn of Praise “Once In Royal David's City,” the Acclamation of Praise “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” and the Hymn of Response “Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor.” Let us come to worship this Sunday expecting to hear from God as His Word is sung, prayed, read, and preached, and let us respond to that Word as we commit to live in light of His love and mission in our neighborhood and city in 2024.

Sermon Information:
Sermon Text: Hebrews 11:13-16
Title: Living With Death-Defying Faith


  1. By faith, we live as strangers and exiles.
  2. By faith, we live for a future homeland
  3. By faith, we live in light of God's approval

Sunday's bulletin

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