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READING: Hebrews 11-13 – Run with Patience the Race Before You


First, chapter 11 lists great souls of faith from the Old Testament, describing what they did through their faith in God. Yes, they are watching us because they did not receive the promises God had made to them, for He is supplying something better for them and us “so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” (11:1-40) 

These are the great cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on in our faithful walk with our Lord. We are encouraged to lay aside “the sin that clings so closely and run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” We need to consider Him, “who for the Joy set before Him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Did he face hostility? Remember the world hated Him before it hated us. In our struggle with sin, we have not shed blood as He did. The unknown author then quotes two significant passages about God’s fatherly discipline of His children, Proverbs 3:11-12 and Psalm 94:12. Recognize trials as discipline from the Lord. Here we also find a warning against rejecting God’s grace and an exhortation to “Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Esau appears as an example of how not to do this. 

Then we have the beautiful picture of the saints of the present age being assembled with the cloud of witnesses, from the earlier age, AND with all the heavenly creatures and persons – in Mount Zion, which is contrasted with Mount Sinai when Moses went up amid fire, thunder, loud trumpets, and the voice of God that struck fear into the hearts of all who heard it. In this part of chapter 12 we are also informed that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and are challenged to “offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.” 

I have heard many prayers that our worship be acceptable. Chapter 13 tells us what acceptable worship is, and it is not what we do in the assembly, though it is also seen there. Acceptable worship is found in the admonitions given to us in chapter 13. (Remember that mere men much later added the chapters and verses.) 

We worship in mutual love that never neglects to show hospitality to strangers. Remembering prisoners who are suffering for Jesus’ sake sounds like the things Jesus talked about in His parable of the sheep and goats. We keep the marriage bed undefiled; we remember our leaders who speak the Word of God to us, and we imitate their faith as we are strengthened by God’s grace. 

These three chapters are the Magna Carta for those who want to go forward with God.  

How joyous, the Great Assembly of saints on Mount Zion! 

Is our worship joyous? 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Lord, I am overwhelmed with the faith and the deeds of those in chapter 11, and the scene of the Great Assembly on Mount Zion just blows me away. Is it possible I need to change my attitude about worship? Do I need to be more joyful and less critical? Help me, my Father, to make me have the heart of Jesus and focus on Him, is my prayer, in His Name that means Savior, AMEN. 

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Father, there is so much in these three chapters that I hardly know where to begin. The chapters begin with believing you are the creator of all things and ends with a prayer that You will make us complete in everything good so we may do Your will. Right in the middle of these is the example Jesus gave us in suffering on the cross. Help us all, Oh Father, that we may have strong faith, so we with confidence may say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, AMEN. 

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