Message: Hebrews 11 is such a powerful chapter citing several who died in their faith without ever seeing the promise. As I read each one it really sank in to me that the promise they all shared was not tangible or circumstantial, even though some of them also included measurable results further on down the line. The promise was not hope of a more comfortable life, or anything that would benefit or promote them personally. In fact, it was bigger than all of them because it was literally the coming of Jesus. Sure, Abraham was promised that he would be the father of nations, but when we get down to it, the purpose of that lineage was to bring Jesus. They all believed that God was who he said he was so every one of them acted in obedience. Their obedience was proof of their deep faith that God was who he said he was. Because of that, their motivation came from a holy fear and deep respect. They didn’t consider what was in it for them, or how it might improve their lives. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Their obedience cost them their dignity and their comfort. We are on the other side of part of that promise. Jesus came, but now we stand on the promise that Jesus came to save the world and he is returning for us all. If we really believe that our motivation will drive us to prepare the world for his coming.
Command: Prepare the world for the coming of Jesus. Obedience to this promise will cost us our dignity and our comfort. Our purpose is not to live comfortably, but to live to help fulfill his promise.
Promise: Jesus came to save the world and he is coming again.
Warning: Our own desire for blessings, comfort and prosperity will become a distraction to our purpose. There is a whole lot of blessing that comes as a result of our obedience, but when we focus on those blessings, our purpose gets turned around. Instead of our obedience being motivated by the promise that Jesus came to save the world, we instead become motivated to chase after blessings for our own comfort and enjoyment. We become weary of being obedient when we don’t see results, and our failed expectations cause an internal and sometimes subtle resentment toward God, who owes us nothing, but gave us everything. This is why Jesus warns us throughout scripture that he who tries to find his life will lose it, but he who intentionally loses his life for the sake of Christ will actually find it.
Application: Lord Jesus! Please forgive me for shifting my focus toward what I can gain from you, rather than your promise to save the world. Help me Lord to obey you for who you are and not out of what else I can gain from you. Help me to stop chasing the unending desire for blessings and give me a passion to fulfill your promise by preparing a broken world for your return.