Hebrews 11:13 & 16 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
13 All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.
16But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a heavenly city for them.
Hebrews 11, sometimes called, "The Faith Chapter," contains a long list of heroes. I used to think it was a contrast between those who had faith and received, and those who had faith but suffered martyrdom. One day I read the verses in the text above and realized that whether they died a martyr's death or not, they all had something in common-- a faith for something more than this life; something beyond the here and now.
How wonderful to meditate on that and then read the start of the next chapter:
Hebrews 12:1-2 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Dear Lord, we are in a race towards a city that is not of this world. Help us to run well, run free and with perseverance, until we cross that border.