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, read Hebrews chapter 11 to read of all the hostility Jesus had to get through and how He died for you and that will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Tonight I was thinking about something I want to do, I was praying and asking God for guidance, while I was praying Hebrews 12:1 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, Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. That verse is talking about people who have died and gone to heaven before us telling us that they are watching us and cheering us on! But back up and read Hebrews 11:37-40 There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. It is amazing to me that with all they suffered, things we can’t even imagine, their faith is not perfect without ours! WHAT? No wonder they are peering over into our world to cheer us on and encourage us! We must do good!
I have some dear loved ones who are now watching me to see what I am going to do with my life and I don’t want to disappoint them. Think about the people who encouraged you, was it your parents, a special pastor? Don’t you think the least you can do for them is to stand up and be counted for Jesus? If anyone puts down your belief, instead of being ashamed, remember those that have gone on are saying, “Go for it! Don’t let me down!” We are privileged to have freedom of worship in this country, don’t take it for granted and let it slip away! Stand up for what is right, they’re watching you!