“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40).

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Rejoice, it’s Pentecost Sunday! 🔥 I found myself led to Hebrews 11 this morning. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” Faith in action.

From the Bible commentary I’m reading that goes with Hebrews 11:39-40:

11:39 God has borne witness to the faith of these OT heroes, yet they died before receiving the fulfillment of the promise. They did not live to see the Advent of the long-awaited Messiah or to enjoy the blessings that would flow from His ministry.

11:40 God had reserved something better for us. He had arranged that they should not be made perfect apart from us. They never did enjoy a perfect conscience as far as sin was concerned; and they will not enjoy the full perfection of the glorified body in heaven until we are all caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess 4:13–18). The spirits of OT saints are already perfect in the presence of the Lord (Heb. 12:23), but their bodies will not be raised from among the dead until the Lord returns for His people. Then they will enjoy the perfection of resurrection glory.

To put it another way, the OT believers were not as privileged as we are. Yet think of their thrilling triumphs and tremendous trials! Think of their exploits and their endurance! They lived on the other side of the cross; we live in the full glory of the cross. Yet how do our lives compare with theirs? This is the cogent challenge of Hebrews 11.

Copyright © 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2016 by William MacDonald.

I was also led to another place in scripture this morning. I neither wish to be a hindrance, nor should I allow myself to be hindered by anyone. “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns’” Let us take particular care not to be stumbling blocks to ourselves or to one another, for fear that we deflect a brother or sister from the path of obedience; perhaps, that’s the test to whether or not a rebuke is loving and godly.

From the Bible commentary I’m reading that goes with Matthew 16:23:

16:23 This drew a rebuke from the Lord Jesus. He had come into the world to die for sinners. Anything or anyone who hindered Him from this purpose was out of tune with God’s will. So He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” In calling Peter Satan, Jesus did not imply that the apostle was demon-possessed or Satan-controlled. He simply meant that Peter’s actions and words were what could be expected of Satan (whose name means adversary). By protesting against Calvary, Peter became a hindrance to the Savior.

Every Christian is called to take up his cross and follow the Lord Jesus, but when the cross looms in the pathway ahead, a voice within says, “Far be it from you! Save yourself.” Or perhaps the voices of loved ones seek to deflect us from the path of obedience. At such times, we too must say, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.”

Copyright © 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2016 by William MacDonald.

I shared on social media yesterday: “As the events of 2020 unfold, I’ve found no better place to gauge what’s on the hearts and minds of people than my newsfeed, and I am put in mind of Matthew 25:29, ‘For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.’” I was put in mind of the household of God when I wrote these words and led to these specific passages. Now, if the message was a rebuke from above, then trust me, as I find is normally the case in these situations, the rebuke stung me first. But as a pastor friend, I went to high school with, recently put it, “If you ever wondered if spiritual warfare was real, realizes the events of 2020 are not by chance. For the love of everything that is Holy you need to pray and find God’s heart for your life. #Jesus” “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Our heavenly Father is calling His children to action this Pentecost Sunday. Hearts are being revealed right now. It is time we wake up, lest one loses what they never really had to begin with.

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