Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my dad’s passing into glory. It is hard to believe that dad has been gone a year. As I reflect on my dad’s life, I am so grateful for those who have gone before us. It makes me think of the book of Hebrews. Starting at 10:19 we read about a “Call to Persevere in Faith”. Continuining in Chapter 11, we read a long list of those were commended for their faith including: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the prophets, and more. Then in Hebrews 12:1-3 we read:
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, 2 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. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3
The encouagement is two-fold. First,
1.) “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Sin and the “stuff of life” binds us, it entangles us, it enslaves us and ultimately leaves us unfruitful for His kingdom. It’s hard to run with vines wrapped around your ankles. We’re instructed to throw them off! And secondly,
2.) “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The call is to perseverance, which Merriam-Webster defines it as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” Difficulties, failure and opposition are guaranteed along the course, but we are to persevere by His strength.
Father, thank you for those who have gone before, leaving us examples of faith in action, by Your grace. Thank you for bringing these wonderful people into our lives. And Lord, help us to throw off everything that hinders and run with perseverance the race You’ve marked out for us. Help us to live a life worthy of our calling, a life where others can see faith in action. And we pray this for Your fame, for Your honor and for Your glory! Amen.