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A Better Promise

Jan 22, 2018
Daily Devotional
Average reading time is about 5 minutes
AN AMAZING FACT:  Each year, 171,000 Christians are martyred for their faith, and 100 million Christians endure arrest and interrogation. Persecution is especially severe in North Korea. Worship of anyone other than the “dear leader” is illegal. Parents are unable to share their faith at home until their children are old enough to understand the risks. There are an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians in labor camps. Yet Christianity is growing there, with an estimated 400,000 believers.

Hebrews 11, commonly called the faith chapter, ends its chronicle of Bible heroes with this statement: “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and” (Hebrews 11:32). The author goes on to catalog the things that have been done to people of faith, including persecution and death: “Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. … They were stoned, sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword” (vs. 35, 37). Yet in spite of the things these faith heroes suffered, Hebrews makes it clear that they haven’t received their reward quite yet: “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise” (v. 39). The promise referred to is what God promised Abram: the land of Canaan. The land of Canaan never became the paradise for the Jews that God intended. Why would God make these faithful wait?

The answer becomes clear when we consider how the persecution of God’s people continues today. God chose not to reward some of the faithful until all of the faithful could enjoy the promise together, and thus decided on an even better promise than the earthly land of Canaan: “God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (vs. 39, 40). Instead of the earthly Canaan, God has prepared the heavenly New Jerusalem.

KEY BIBLE TEXTS
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16




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Daily Devotional

AN AMAZING FACT: Each year, 171,000 Christians are martyred for their faith, and 100 million Christians endure arrest and interrogation. Persecution is especially severe in North Korea. Worship of anyone other than the “dear leader” is illegal. Parents are unable to share their faith at home until their children are...


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