“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. Familiar words from a familiar verse, but words that spoke to me differently today.
In the last verses of Hebrews, Chapter 11, Paul takes the time to recount the people and faith of some of the greatest examples in the Bible. we see how God used ordinary people, royalty, rulers, and common folk to establish what a life of faith looks like. And what faith looks like from person to person, situation to situation, is as different as the individual snowflakes that fall. No two alike, and no situation without the hand and guidance of God the Father.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still in “New Year, New Beginnings” mode, and so this passage spoke to me today differently than it has in the past. What stood out today is that Paul states very clearly that the result of living a life of faith was different for all the saints he listed. Some were welcomed into palace life, some were rewarded with wealth or fame, and some lived destitute, the objects of abuse and hatred. I was reminded that I must stop comparing myself to others and looking for a different level of success or prosperity. Living out my faith is to be my focus, and the end result and rewards are not here in this life. I’m not a Christian for what it bring me here, today, in this life. I am a Christian because I believe that Jesus was the son of God, he paid the price for my sins, and has a place for me in heaven for eternity. That is my goal and prize. Not my title, not my paycheck, not the size of my house or the status of my car. I hope and pray that all of you reading my words today will join me in this focus and sense of purpose for our lives. It is what truly matters.
Blessings this new year,