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Sacrificial Devotion (37 of 38)
2 Corinthians 8:5
Let's open in our Bibles to continue our study of James by opening to Hebrews 11. Now isn't that interesting? That should get your attention. We are looking this morning as we continue through the book of James at the attitude that these first century Christians had that made them so powerful. I think that in order to understand the words of James we have to see the background of Hebrews 11 and specifically verse 10. The writer of Hebrews is eloquently writing about the reality of something that those first century saints possessed. They knew that devotion to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit issued forth into a life of sacrifice. Now look at Hebrews 11:10- it describes the great heroes of the faith both from long ago and then of recent days in the first century.
Hebrews 11:10; 13-16 For he (Abraham) waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
Think about it- promises of endless life, of endless joy, the promises of God wiping away all tears- they had a lot of promises but they didn't ever get them in this lifetime. I mean these people- it says here were hounded, stoned, sawn asunder, imprisoned, wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, afflicted and tormented. Doesn't sound very good but continuing in verse 13-
...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.
They could have gone back, they could have left the affliction, the tormenting the destitution and all that stuff- they could have kind of just blended into the world.
16 But now they desire a better, ...
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