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Friday, April 11, 2008

A little too familiar?

"39And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised,
40Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them].
1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,"

Ok so this passage from Heb 11:39 - 12:1 was one that hit me up side my thick head this week. Now I know we're all familiar with this "hall of faith" but I'm tellin' you that verse 40 never gets that much attention when most preachers hit this chapter. Not to fault any of them, because each of these verses, I believe, is a sermon in and of themselves. However, truth be told, I believe that it's not that I haven't ever heard a preacher preach on it, it's just that my heart wasn't listening. God wasn't ready for me to hear it. Don't you love that about Him?

Jim Shaddix, one of the speakers this week, spoke on this chapter and gave the illustration of a relay race. In a relay the first to cross the finish line isn't always the winner. There has to be a clean exchange, within certain perimeters, the baton must not be dropped or the team is disqualified. So, applying a relay to our spiritual walk and looking thru the "Hall of Faith", the baton has been passed to us. To our generation. I'm afraid that we may be disqualified. I pray it isn't so. I pray that we can be known as heroes and heroines of faith.

Does vs. 40 hit you? God's plan is that these people who are mentioned in the previous verses, ALONG WITH the testimony of OUR generation, will come to perfection. Their faith can't be complete without our testimonies as a generation. That just about blew me out of the water!! I don't believe we can ever cancel out what they did, but we can add to it. My girlfriend always says that she's so glad there's not a book of "Lisa" in the Bible and I feel the same way, but in reality there's one in heaven labeled "Valarie" and I pray that in eternity as God continues to hang the pictures of the "Giants of Faith" in His hall that a tiny portrait of my life may be there. Can you imagine?!

Don't you just love "the depths of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"? "How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

Y'all have a good one - I'm 'bout to go have me some church in my livin' room!!! Between these verses and my baby in there singing "He knows my name" I'm about to bust!!!
PRAISE YOU JESUS!!!

3 comments:

Nicki said...

Oh girl, it won't be a tiny picture of you, it will be a big one!! =)

Hope you survived ok this week!! =)
How's your mom doing?

Melissa said...

I love it when His Word is new! It's familiar but it's alive and active and new every morning. We just have to be willing to open it and read it!

Leah said...

Valarie,

Thank you so much for visiting The Point. I am so excited to be part of STMM and just can't wait to see what HE will do. Please pray that I am always and only a vessel for Him to work through. My ultimate fear is that it would become about 'me'and it is sooooo very much not about me.

My desire is to teach the deep truths of God's Word and be hidden behind the cross so the world sees only Him. Thanks for your prayers. Hope to meet you soon.

Leah