SOAP Devotional 2014-01-14
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16 NLT)
Not all of what we hope for May take place on this side of heaven. It did not for these, but they did not consider what they got on this earth to be their ultimate promise. They considered themselves here on earth to be foreigners and their homeland to be with God. Because their focus was not about earthly rewards, God proudly called himself their God and he has prepared a city for them in heaven.
Some focus so much on the promises of God for rewards in the here and now. This isn't to say that God never blesses us in the here and now, but it has a lot to say about our focus. Unfortunately, those who constantly focus on the rewards in the here and now have a self centered focus rather than a God centered focus. If God was not ashamed to be called their God because they had a heavenly focus, what does that say about how he feels about those whose focus is on earthly gain?
Father, I thank you for all the earthly blessings that you have given me, but please do not let that ever become my focus. I may need things to do what you have sent me to do, but I want you above it all.