April 15th


"Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight,  and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance  the race that is set before us"  (Hebr. 12:1).

Paul tells us we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.  With the word therefore starting this sentence we can go back to the previous chapter to see what that therefore is there for.  No pun is intended.  This therefore refers back to the many heroes of faith, especially the latter list in Hebrews 11:32-40.  Some of these heroes of the faith were tortured and had trials of mockings and scourgings.  Others were placed in chains and imprisonment.  Even others were stoned and sawn asunder.  His faithfulness in them, empowered them as they were running the race of life.  If fact, Hebrews 11 concluded by declaring, that "God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made complete apart from us" (Hebr. 11:40).  The faithfulness of Christ manifested and expressed in and through them as they were running the race of life, has paved the way for many of us to receive salvation today.  While they did not receive the promise in their lifetime (Hebr. 11:39), we are the fulfillment and the completion of God's promise to them. We should be eternally thankful for these faithful who were running the race of life before us.

What is our response to such love and faithfulness of such an awesome cloud of witness as these saints and genuine expressers of Christ.  We should lay aside every weight. Weights are things that slow us down.  Weights are the affairs and encumbrances of life.  Many of these are not important.  We need to make decisions and determinations not to let all the unimportant things slow us down.  We are also to lay aside the sin which so easily ensnares us.  If you get involved with sin, it is an illegal procedure.  You are very likely to get thrown to the sidelines as you are running the race of life.  Paul said,"I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Cor. 9:27).  We don't want to be disqualified in the race of life by results of sin.   We should not be trying to escape responsibility to live a life of uselessness or vanity.  With love, we are commanded to continue running the race of life with patient endurance and constancy. Christ in us will be our love, faithfulness, strength, patience, and endurance in running the race of life! V

Written by Dwight Davis


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