"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 trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
The dominant theme among the "huge crowd of witnesses" described in Hebrews 11 is faith. These were men and women of faith. Read through the chapter and note the often repeated phrase "by faith."
We have an advantage over these Old Testament saints. Their salvation was based on the promise of the cross; ours is based on what Christ has already done.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. (Hebrews 11:39-40 NLT)
And yet they lived by faith in what was to come, serving as shining examples to us today.
Consider this …
- "Strip off every weight that slows us down"
- "Especially the sin that so easily trips us up"
- "Run with endurance" (we are running a marathon, not a sprint)
Consider what steps you can take to be more effective in your race. What excess baggage is weighing you down? What sin easily trips you up? How does knowing you are running a marathon, not a sprint, help you?
Father, I thank you for the faithfulness of these Old Testament people of faith. Thank you for the advantage I have of basing my faith on what Jesus has already done. Reveal to me what things in my life are slowing me down, keeping my faith from growing. Show me any sin and help me live more wisely to avoid allowing it to trip me up. And help me run the race with endurance, keeping my eyes on Jesus. In his name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Godly Heroes: A Small Group Study of Hebrews 11 by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This guide presents a step-by-step study of Hebrews 11. It also features the profile of the characteristics of Godly heroes, written in language that relates to today's living. In this guide you will find definitions, characteristics and examples of the heroes' faith life. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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