And I really hate hearing Bibles verses taken out of context. I’m sure I’ve done it myself, but I hate it just the same.
However, I realized it was a bit unrealistic to plan on memorizing all of that passage unless someone was extremely ambitious so I whittled it down to 12:1-2.
So, what is the question for this Scripture? As I looked at the context, I think it may be
What does it look like to walk by faith?
What do you think?
There is one area we want to be sure we don’t misunderstand. It is found at the beginning of this memory section. Who do you think that great cloud of witnesses is? You know they aren’t other people here on earth. Take a look back at the end of Hebrews 11. It is talking about all those people who came along before us, the people of faith…including those who lived their whole lives without seeing the Promise of Jesus fulfilled!
I love the pciture that they are cheering us on as we lay aside the weights that slow us down, put aside the sin that so easily clings and run with endurance. Not that we do it perfectly at all, but we do it. We stay in the race…and look to Jesus for the grace, endurance, enablement…to stay in the race.
Can you just see it? We are running the race. We trip and we don’t want to get up…but our audience in heaven is cheering us on and telling us to keep on going. …to remember the glory in eternity that isn’t worth comparing to any hardships here! …to remember the importance of the eternal over the temporary. …to keep our eyes on Jesus, the One who took on our shame! We get up and keep going. No, it isn’t easy. But that isn’t what we were promised…ever!
Walking by faith can be exciting, but more often than not, it involves the mundane
Walking by faith is not just a matter of dreaming great things or trusting GOD to move mountains. More often than not, it is enduring, not in the stoical sense where we grit out teeth and say, “I can do this.” It is living each day, sometimes one step at a time…trusting Jesus.
It is learning to obey Him, going to Him when I fail and pursue change as I repent and walk in forgiveness and obedience…even after I fail the 10th, 20th or 100th time!
So as we “run the race”, we have Abraham, Moses, David and all those who went on ahead of us. They watch us fail and fall down and say, “GO, GO! Look to Jesus. He will forgive. He will give you the courage to make your failure right with the people you have wronged.” That whole crowd who were well acquinted with failure…cheering us on as we daily live our life with Christ,with our eyes on Jesus.
For sure, Jesus is cheering us on literally. He is our advocate with the Father as we pray…but that is for another post. The part that is for this post is that Jesus took our sin and shame on Himself. There was nothing about that punishment that He deserved. But He did it for us in a thorough way. Now He can sit down in heaven…the job is done These two verses are so full and so encouraging! More to come in two weeks!
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 endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus,
the founder and perfecter of our faith,
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.