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Devotional: January 20, 2021

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By 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.

Hebrews 11: 1-3 NRSV

The author of Hebrews speaks about faith, realizing that the Christian faith has been handed down from generation to generation. A major theme of this letter is that we are saved by faith, rather than by good works (good deeds).

As many of us consider our own journeys with the Lord, it may be helpful to remember those who went ahead of us in the faith. In my own family, I am inspired by my maternal grandfather, James T. Albertson, and by my paternal great-grandfather, W. W. Deal. Both were Methodist ministers who served the Lord.

In my office, I have a bible which belonged to W. W. Deal. It holds a place of honor, along with a picture taken in about 1903 of the church he founded and served in Weiser, Idaho. In my own ministry, I had the privilege of serving as pastor of that same church for eight years, beginning in 1992, for the church had merged with the Presbyterian church in town some years before.

A good Christian heritage can be an inspiration. Today, Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. For this historic event, he put his right hand upon a bible which has been in his family since 1893, when it was purchased by his great-grandparents. This five-inch-thick family bible has been used for such purposes several times before in the Biden family. Joe Biden used it when he was first sworn in as a Senator from Delaware in 1973, and later when his son Beau was sworn in as the State Attorney General for Delaware in 2007.

As our country moves on into the future, our hope and prayer as Christians is that we will remember our heritage of faith. Those who founded this country were people of faith. At the museum at Mount Vernon, there is a small pew which speaks of the church George Washington attended. Our Declaration of Independence was signed by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. John Witherspoon. Even as we move forward into the future, with its complex issues and challenges, may we continue to be faithful to the Lord, and to our Godly heritage. May God continue to bless the United States of America!

Prayer

God of all history,

I thank You for the heritage You have faithfully given to me. May I look to those who have ministered in my life, and helped to direct my path, with a thankful heart. Help me to be that person who ministers to others, and helps to show them the way to You.

Faithfully I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen


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