II Corinthians 8:5
1st century church members knew that devotion to Christ means sacrifice. The eloquence of the writer of Hebrews is nowhere more evident than in chapter 11. There he says that those who walk by faith do so in lifelong sacrifice.
Hebrews 11:10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. :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.
What drives God's servants to make such sacrifices? Devotion to Christ. And devotion sacrifices!
In 1555, the English bishop , Reformer, and martyr Hugh Latimer knew that devotion to Christ means sacrifice. Latimer was sentenced to be burned at the stake for his pro-Reformation positions. Prior to his death his convictions were set forth in an open letter to all genuine believers in Jesus Christ. This in part is what Latimer wrote:
"Die once we must; how and where, we know not. Here is not our home; let us therefore accordingly consider things, having always before our eyes that heavenly Jerusalem, and the way thereto in persecution" (cited in Harold S. Darby, Hugh Latimer [London: Epworth Press, 19531, 237).
Latimer was executed later in 1535 along with his dear friend and colleague Nicholas Ridley. At that time, as the flames were being lit, an amazingly composed Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr with these words:
"Be of good comfort, master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God's gr ...
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