Hebrews 11:13-16 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” NKJV
Not to be political in my devotional message but to use a phrase popularized in previous electoral cycles, “Hope & Change”. I want to talk about a “Hope” that will “Change” us spiritually and in so doing affect every aspect of our lives. That is the theme of the text we used in Hebrews 11, often called the “faith” chapter of the Bible. It is here that we find a list of people who lived, heard the promises of God but did not see the “total fulfillment” of those promises during their earthly lifespan. Yet, what they heard and saw so radically transformed their lives that they are still impacting us generations later.
Consider with me briefly a few pertinent points:
- They all died holding on to their Faith.
- They had heard the Covenant Promises and although they did not see them become total realities in their earthly lifespan they could “see” them through the eyes of faith.
- Their faith gave them “total assurance” that they were real and that confidence caused them to declare that they were “strangers & pilgrims” on earth. This world was not their home, just a temporary dwelling place.
- They were seeking a homeland that was other than the one they were living in.
- Had they engaged in “looking back” they would have had the opportunity to “go back”. Back to Egypt or in our case back to sin.
- Their hearts convinced them that there was a “better land” beyond the blue that they would reach at the end of their journey on earth and they lived in “total commitment” to God focused on that country.
- The result of that commitment and faith was that God was not ashamed to be called their God, calling them His children and prepared a city for them.
We too are possessors of the same promises and if we possess the same faith and commitment we too are inheritors of that City! That’s why I love the old song “Looking For A City.” I especially love the chorus: “Looking for a city, where we’ll never die. There the sainted millions, never say good-bye. There we’ll meet our Savior, and our loved ones too. Come O Holy Spirit, all our hope renew.” That is exactly what Paul meant when he declared when talking about those who have passed from this life in 1 Corinthians 15:19 – “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” NKJV We have a hope that if we really “see” it with the eyes of our spirit it will “transform” us so that we will NEVER be the same and will TOTALLY and FULLY commit ourselves to the Lord and seek Him “first & foremost” above all else. We will live in a PERFECT PEACE, knowing that no matter what may come in this life it is “temporary” and we have a heavenly destiny that is eternal. Just a small glimpse of the glory awaiting us should be enough to anchor us to that BLESSED HOPE!
It is my genuine desire and prayer that the Lord, open your spiritual eyes so you can see just a little bit of what He has in store for us once our time on earth is through. I am convinced that if that happens NOTHING can shake you from it and TURN your heart from Him. That “Hope” will bring about a “Change” that you will alter your forever and you forever! May God bless you and keep you!
Thank you for your love, concern, friendship, and prayers! God Bless You Richly is my prayer and desire!