Today, I’m thinking about heroes.

I have several in my life: of course my parents, and I would include John Wilson, a pastor in Springfield that enabled my entry into the ministry.  I could list several others but I will stop with Lewis Foster, my seminary professor.  He kept me from quitting my master’s level Greek class.  When you read my (OGV) or Old Guy Version of the Bible — you can thank Dr. Foster.

The concept of ‘heroes’ can be trivialized today.

I think it’s great to give an award for good behavior.  I think we should encourage excellence in grades and craftmanship at work.  Mothers and fathers and grandparents all deserve honor.

Are all heroes and what defines heroism?

Considering heroes my mind goes to those who served our country in the military.  Both of my parents were soldiers in World War II and they didn’t need to earn the medal of honor to be my heroes.

Media portrays a daily dose of inspiring stories.  Millions of mobile devices yield newfound heroes every hour on YouTube.

What exactly is a hero?

Jesus gives a definition when he says, “There is no greater heroism than laying down your life for those you love.” (OGV)

A willingness to sacrifice your life narrows the focus for heroism.

The Book of Hebrews has a Hall of Fame list of Bible heroes.  The heroic deeds involved faithfulness in trial, building an ark, leaving family, forsaking wealth, and obedience.

Hebrews 11 ends with an intense description of heroic faith — enduring great atrocities, beating with whips, stretched on the wheel, killed with swords and by stoning, sawn in two and the list continues.

The Heroes chapter (Hebrews 11) ends: These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised. But God has invited us to live in in His promise. For by us their faith is perfected.

In heaven the entirety of heroism will be celebrated by those who lived by faith. When history ends, the Book of Faith will close and all of us found faithful will be listed as heroes.

God’s authoring of history will include your name alongside the Apostle Paul and Abraham.  Their faith will be perfected or concluded by your faithfulness in the end times. 

Jesus returns.  History over. Book of Faith closed.

And all of us together, will bow our knees before the one who laid His life down for those He loved.