From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 22, 2019
Subject: It's April 22; Good Morning Union

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses….”           Hebrews 12:1

I was just reading Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, this weekend. It’s full of people who lived their lives by faith and how God did not necessarily honor them with what they wanted when they wanted it, but He DID honor them with the promise that what they get in the end will be far greater than anything they might have wanted in the present. I guess that’s what faith is—trusting the God who knows what is best and when it is best to give it.

But I still need to understand what that thing called “faith” really is. The one consistent variable in all their lives seems to be that, because they trusted, they also then acted. And that’s where my verse brought me today. Chapter divisions are NOT inspired; they were not a part of the original text. They were added, as were verse markings, MUCH later, as in a thousand years after all the words of the Bible had been penned. They were an attempt to make it easier to locate things and for that I am very grateful. But they do not always mark out clearly visible changes and transitions in the message. Chapter 12 verse 1 is the conclusion of chapter 11!

“Therefore…” is how chapter 12 starts which sounds a lot like the end of something, not the beginning. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” — the witnesses of chapter 11—and then I saw action steps for me if I want to relate to understanding and acting on faith. Remember, if it’s important to God it’s clear in His word! So the clarity I saw this morning, as I seek to demonstrate my faith by my actions, as James says to do, is four-fold:

  1. “throw off everything that hinders me”
  2. “run with perseverance the race marked out before me”
  3. “fixing my eyes on Jesus”
  4. “consider Him who endured so much for me”

My ah-ha for today—

  1. Choose wisely in all of life and leave off anything that would get in the way of me clearly seeing Jesus
  2. Realize that life is more like a marathon than a sprint. I have to hang in there through the good and not so good.
  3. Focus on Jesus, nothing more; nothing less
  4. Meditate on His great love for me which brought Him to such a sacrifice as was remembered this past weekend.

And then the verse ends with another conclusion— I do these things “SO THAT I will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Thank you Paul for another great reminder of what faith in action looks like.

Have a great day following Paul’s advice,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day: Man: “God, I’ve let you down so much.” God: “You didn’t let Me down; you were never holding me up! I hold YOU up!”

PS        Turn in your HeartScan forms to Campus Ministries this week. Be sure and fill out the survey on the back.