Heaven 101: Week 2 - Day 2

Opening Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, give me Your wisdom to make personal application from this scripture today.

 

Read: Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

“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. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

 

Reflect: 

When I was growing up and even after I got married I worried that I might do something that would make me look bad in the eyes of my mother.  I wasn’t alone, my four brothers felt the same way.  My father had instilled this into us from our very beginning.  It was most important that we respect and honor our mother and there were dire consequences if we didn’t.  As a result, we did everything we could to follow the code of ethics my parents had laid down for us.  This does not mean we didn’t get into trouble, but if we did, we tried all we could to keep it hidden from our mother because we did not want to embarrass her.

 Considering this scripture, we have a similar situation with a great multitude watching over us.   (Those mentioned in Hebrews 11) The Message captures the thought in Hebrews 12:1-3.

 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”

As it was for me growing up, we should, too, examine our lives daily and keep in mind that we have a great cloud of witnesses.  They have blazed a trail before us and we shouldn’t do anything that would mar the legacy they set out before us.

 I like the Life Application Bible’s commentary of verse 1. “This “huge crowd of witnesses” is composed of the people described in chapter 11. Their faithfulness is a constant encouragement to us. We do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle with the problems we face. Others have run the race and won, and their witness stirs us to run and win also. What an inspiring heritage we have!”

Also, as it was when I was growing up, we are not going to do this on our own.  I had to keep my mother’s vision of conduct in my sights.  As highlighted in the Scripture, above we must keep our eyes on Jesus if we want to keep from putting a blemish on the legacy of the multitude that has gone before us.

 

Apply:     

This week as you think on those who have gone before you and the legacy they have created, remember that God sees all you do.  Psalm 139 makes this very clear.  There is no way we can hide from Him.  As we keep our eyes on Jesus this week through Bible study and prayer we will be able to stay within God’s will and protect the legacy of the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us.

 

Closing Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, help us “run with perseverance the race marked out before us” with our eyes focused on You and Your will.

Terry Schneider