Faith Focus: Martin Luther King's last sermon and you

On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his last sermon. Looking back, many have noted the prophetic nature of his words, wrapping up the night by sharing these thoughts: 

“Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. 

“I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land. And I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

King has been praised deservedly for many reasons: his ability to mobilize people, his passion for helping others, his commitment to justice, the difference he made in people’s lives and his oratorical strength.

As I studied King for this devotion, one thing struck me like never before, and it can be seen in his last public words: his faith. The pastor undeniably realized the odds he was fighting. He suffered for what he believed. Yet he pushed forward.

Like Moses, King had faith that God would change the circumstances of his people. He believed in a reality that he could not see around him. Together, he envisioned African Americans marching toward equality. 

Today, that kind of faith continues to inspire us all. It challenges us and even encourages us to rely on God. What is God calling you to today? What are you trying to do that others cannot see?

Are you trying to start a ministry for the vulnerable near you? Are you walking alongside someone during a tough time in his or her life, knowing they can tap into untold potential? Are you serving a community that is regularly overlooked?

Today, we are called like the ancient and modern heroes of our faith alike to strive toward the promised but unknown. Where will you live out Hebrews 11:8-10?

“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

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