Hebrews 12:1–3; 18–24
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. . . .
You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
Sin is an entanglement. Holiness is a vision. Could it be that entanglements and encumbrances snare us at the point where we lose our vision of the bigger picture? We were made to run in the pathway of holiness, to live lives of captivating beauty which inspire the awe of God.
Perhaps this is why the Bible constantly casts vision of the good life. Note the pattern. Become aware of the “great cloud of witnesses,” or the communion of saints. From the encouragement of such a great assembly, cast sin aside and extricate yourself from its encumbrance. Now refocus your gaze on Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega of it all.
Are you entangled with some particular sin? Are you encumbered with discouragement or despair? Remember the creed: “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.” Run to him. Locate yourself on the continuum. Consider how you might move further to the right.
Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.
Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.
Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .
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