Introduction

July 17 through August 20, 2016

“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39-40)

There’s one thing you can count on when it comes to summers in St. Louis: you’re guaranteed to sweat! As we move into Volume Two of our Heroes series, prepare to sweat with our characters. Volume One concluded with Joseph. His brothers reconcile with him and move to Egypt as famine made their homeland temporarily uninhabitable. As we move to the Volume Two and turn the page from Genesis to Exodus, centuries pass. The family of Israel grows from 70 immigrants to 12 tribes of more than a million. Somewhere along the line, the family’s intended temporary stay loses track of the mission. God’s promised land and future isn’t in Egypt, but the Israelites got comfortable in that powerful center of the world. Suddenly things get hot!

It’s starts with this phrase, “Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” (Exodus 1:8). The perks that kept Israel sleepy and complacent came to end. Worse yet, the prosperous, but sleepy nation, has its guest pass revoked and is reduced to slave labor. With the Patriarchs a distant memory, God will raise up a whole new generation of Heroes to save the day.

Heroes Volume Two takes us on the journey of the Great Exodus. Here we meet Moses, Miriam and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, people God will use to turn up the heat and set the stage for His great mission of rescue. The Exodus is the great salvation story of the Old Testament. It becomes the watershed moment by which generation after generation will recall God’s faithfulness and power to save. The New Testament, with great repetition, also frequently recalls this heroic adventure making it clear that it all ultimately points us to Jesus. The Great Exodus and its heroes thus direct us to an even greater rescue: Jesus’ saving the whole world from enslavement to Satan’s evils of sin and death.

So don’t read these stories from the comfort of your easy chair. Read them heroically, looking for signs of Jesus jumping off the pages. Let these stories increase your faith and your grasp of the promises of God. Let the Lord turn up the heat and make you sweat a little where you are tempted to be too comfortable with all the trappings of this world. The Lord’s rescue from such slavery—and most fully in Jesus’ rescue mission—reshapes us to live heroically “by faith in the Son of God, who loved [us] and gave Himself for [us].” (Gal. 2:20)

Grow Deep with Jesus!

Pastor Bill Geis  

The Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens

July 2016

 

Note to Parents

The summer recess of school gives parents and children more time together. It’s an opportunity to travel, swim, picnic and play together. It’s also an opportunity to start or restart family devotional habits. We encourage you to spend time with your children and these heroes of faith. Whether home or traveling, don’t vacation from God’s Word. Take it with you and become a hero for your children. As I did with Volume One, I commit to pray for you and your family. Remember, the work of parents’ passing on their faith to their children is the great stuff of heroes!

Pastor Bill