Thankful for Others –Hebrews Chapter 12

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before us, looking to Jesus who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1

Have you ever heard a Christian talk about their ‘life verse’?  Well, this one from Hebrews is mine.  To me, this verse and this whole chapter is about persevering in the Christian walk.  How do we do that?  By keeping our focus on Jesus, and being inspired and encouraged by the example of other faithful Christians.

In the last chapter, we heard about all the great people of the past, who endured trials for their faith, even before the promises of God were fully revealed.  It’s been called “the hall of fame of faith.” This hall of fame is not yet complete.  Now we’re the ones running the race while the host that went before cheers us on.  Sometimes we’ll get tired;  sometimes God will discipline us;  sometimes sin will trip us up.  We need to keep going, with the help of Christ and our fellow believers.

Who’s in your faithful “hall of fame”?  Your parents?  Your pastor?  Your childhood Sunday School teachers?  Your spouse?  A friend?  Write down your list, and then say a prayer of thanks for those who have molded and shaped you, and helped you to keep going.

What’s Your Favorite?

What’s your favorite book of the Bible?  Mine is Hebrews.  I’m excited about Michele’s interactive study posts on this book.  The verse I consider my “life verse” is there:

“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.”  Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews has many other verses I find inspiring and edifying:

“The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming–not the realities themselves.”  Hebrews 10:1

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews:11:1

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good works.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are doing, but let us encourage each other–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:11

These are just some of the verses I love.  I also like the fact that we don’t know who wrote Hebrews.  Just think about it–an anonymous writer, but his words were chosen and still being used by God 2000 years later.

This book teaches me.  It lifts me up every time I read through it.  If I could choose one book of the Bible to take with me to a desert island, this would be it.  What about you?  What’s your favorite?  I hope some of our other bloggers and followers will do posts and send comments.  I also hope you will comment on Michele’s posts on Hebrews.

 

Switched On Mentors

If you would like to study some examples on people who were spiritually reborn or “switched on.”  their stories are in the Bible, and many of them are listed in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.  (which is, by the way, my favorite book of the Bible).

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  …By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things that do not appear.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than did Cain….

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death….

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events yet unseen, took heed and constructed an ark for the saving of his household …

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.

By faith Sarah herself received the power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised…

By faith, Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises to offer up his only son …

By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau …

By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites…

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid for three months by his parents because they saw he was beautiful and were not afraid of the king’s edict ….

By faith, when he was grown up,Moses refused to be called the son of the Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God ….

The author of Hebrews goes on to say that there was not enough time to tell of all those who had seen the things which were to come through the spiritual understanding received in their faith. Will you be one of the “great cloud of witnesses”(Hebrews 12:1)? Whose spiritual insight has inspired you?