Hebrews 11:32-40

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And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword;whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

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 11:32-40

Dear Jesus,

Your list of Old Testament saints that endured terrible persecutions in this world is very humbling to me.  The endured the loss of everything, even their lives for the sake of their faith in you.  I on the other hand live in a country that protects my religious freedom, allows me to spread and defends my human rights.  Thank you for the blessings of my country and give me the faith and love to use this freedom to lead others to you instead of fritter away my time on only selfish pleasures.  Drive the luke-warmness out of my heart and kindle in me a fire that cannot be quenched. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Freedom brings with it the responsibility to shine.