Running “the Faith Race”

I just finished reading and reflecting on Hebrews 11 again this year during “coffee with the Lord.

It’s about a life of faith (leading to obedience) – the kind of life that pleases God!  A life that embraces all that life brings in a God-pleasing way!  Life lived with “confidence” in God regardless of what comes our way – confidence in His character, His direction, His promises, His presence, His provision, His power … regardless (“The good, the bad, and the ugly”)!!! 

And the chapter asserts and identifies the host of people down through the ages who have demonstrated “a faith walk” is the way to live life!!!  Again… REGARDLESS!!!

So this morning I finished reading and reflecting on Hebrews 11 and read the following words from Hebrews 12…

“Therefore [looking back over all that Hebrews 11 has said], since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us 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 its shame, and is seated at the right hand  of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”  (From Hebrews 12:1-3)

Listen, I’m grateful for every example of faith that Hebrews 11 gives me – that “cloud of witnesses” down through human history!  But more than anything else I’ve got my eyes on Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of my faith!”  I’ve run a few marathons in my life and I can tell you this life is NOT a sprint – it’s a marathon!  I know what it is to reach mile 20 and want to quit … I know what it is to feel like you can’t  make it to mile 26.2!  And in this “faith-life” I intend to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance” the course set before me… looking to the saints of the ages who are my heroes, but most of all to Jesus, my Savior!

Life Goals Are a Big Deal!

Life goals are a big deal!  What do I really want – what do I really pursue in life?

I’ve watched people who say they really want one thing – but their daily lives testify to the fact that they really want something quite different.

Some want security… others seek pleasure… Money and possessions drive the efforts of others… And then there are those who seek power and position.  Some seek one thrill after another, pushing boundaries to the very limit.  And all those I’ve mentioned just scratch the surface of the possibilities.

The reality is, with some life goals there are collateral benefits… with others sad consequences.  Believe me, I want to choose and pursue wisely!

This morning in my Bible reading I encountered a Proverb that caught my attention and said it all for me…  A worthy life goal with incredible collateral benefits!

“Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor!  (Proverbs 21:21 ESV)

Jesus put it another way… “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be yours as well!”  (Matthew 6:33)

And what was the result of thinking about that this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord?”  Some course correction!  I want my life goals to be “on target” for God’s favor and blessing!

Join “Digging Deeper… Discovery Bible Study”

“50 Great Passages of the Bible!” Join Dr. Bartel for “Discovery Bible Study” Tuesday’s at 3 p.m. CDT via Zoom Webinar! (And if you miss it, you can still access the Zoom Webinar at the link below). This week we’re studying the FIRST great passage in the Bible… Genesis 1:1 – 2:3! (Sponsored by the Bible Engagement Project)

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