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There are a lot of great teachings in today's readings! (and thus, get ready for a lengthy post here today... :) Are you ready to learn from Jesus today? And the Old Testament scrolls? Below is an image of Jesus teaching from the scrolls of the Old Testament in the Temple:
Hebrews chapter 11 verses today finish out this chapter on "faith" strongly! Please take a minute to re-read this entire chapter 11 if you can. It is an amazing chapter of our spiritual ancestor's faith. How does reading about our spiritual ancestor's faith speak into your life today? Are their areas of your life where you can better live with faith? Can you turn over your fears and anxieties to God, in faith? Knowing, in faith, God will ultimately provide and thus there is nothing to fear or worry about today?
Hebrews 11 verse 38 stands out to me today: "They were too good for this world." I think it is helpful to remember that this current world is not our ultimate eternal home. It is temporary. We're called to be saints and love others in this world. But, we should not become too attached to it or what it offers. God has a better home for us in mind at the end of our race - our journey through this life. This verse says that our spiritual ancestors were too good for this world - and hence, many of them suffered. But they suffered knowing it was temporary. Impermanent. I don't think that this verse should make us conceited or arrogant in any way - being "too good" for this world - but hopefully it helps us realize that this life is not necessarily going to be easy in this world if we are truly living in faith.... In fact, sometimes I wonder that if our life is really easy if we are really living our faith? I just hope we never get complacent and chill out and relax because "we are so saved".... There is a dying world out there that needs us! How are you truly living your life in faith these days?
Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1 is phenomenal to think about - "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress." I think sometimes we think that we are doing this Christian walk / faith thing alone. We think we are in this alone - just us & God. I think this verse helps remind us that there is a huge crowd of witnesses that are in this with us. I like to think of this cloud of witnesses cheering us on in our walk! They are rooting for us! So - in light of knowing we have these saints rooting for us, doesn't it make sense that we should strip away sin that hinders our walk? Is there sin your life that is hindering your walk? Will you allow Jesus to strip it away so that the cloud of witnesses can continue to cheer you on toward the finish line? Below is an image of some of the "crowd of witnesses" to our life of faith - Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, and David:
How do we run this race toward the finish line well? I think verse 2 tells us how - "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." Are your eyes on Jesus? Constantly? Does your faith depend solely on Jesus? Is your faith as fresh today as when you first came to faith in Jesus?
Verse 3 is a powerful reflection of Jesus' passion.... "Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don't become weary and give up." Think about what Jesus endured at the hands of the Roman guards. Think about Jesus' resolve. He was running the race toward the finish line. Can reflecting on Jesus' passion help us resist becoming weary and giving up? How often do you reflect on Jesus' passion?
Verses 5 & 6 quote Proverbs 3:11-12 and the following verses then go into explaining this wisdom of this Proverb - "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." Do you believe this proverb to be true? Is the Lord perhaps disciplining you in some way today? Are you accepting or ignoring the discipline? Do you believe that the Lord disciplines those he loves? And that this "divine discipline" is ultimately good for you and everyone you come in contact with in your life?
Worship Video: Our Hebrews 12:5-6 readings today about discipline reminded me of Josh Turner's fantastic song "Long Black Train." This song is basically a country & western worship tune! :) "There is victory in the Lord! Don't go riding on that long black train!"
Have you experienced victory in the Lord? Click here for Victory!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
Prayer Point: Pray that you are running the race of life marked out for you, fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. Pray in thanksgiving for the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds you in your race!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you from today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Grace, love, peace, and joy!
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