Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 2, 2017
By Tripp Prince
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NRSV)
What comes to mind when you think about saints? For some of us, we may think of people who have “saint” in their title – St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Clare, etc. etc. – people who have been remembered throughout history as men and women who powerfully embodied the Christian life and were therefore honored and elevated as examples of holy living and seen as worthy of imitation. And yet, in addition to these great heroes of faith that we know by name, we are told that we are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses,” a countless number of disciples whose names have been forgotten to history, and yet their faithfulness in life and death ties the story of faith together throughout the generations.
“To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”(Romans 1:7).
For St. Paul, “sainthood” was an invitation extended to every follower of Jesus. Yet what’s interesting is that he doesn’t say, “If you believe in Christ, you are by default a saint.” He says you have been “called to be saints.” Sainthood is on offer for each of us, yet we must decide if we will receive it and journey with the Lord towards holiness of life.
To be a saint is to be someone who is holy, sanctified, and set apart for the Lord. It is an invitation into life in the Spirit in which we are led and taught daily what it means to conform our lives fully and completely to Christ. As you seek to follow the Lord, be encouraged by the saints, named and unnamed, known and unknown, each of whom were a witness to Christ in their own day. The women and men who endured life’s sorrows, pains, and losses while still clinging to the hope of the gospel, believing that one day all will be well, that every tear will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4).
Sanctification is a gift freely given from the Lord. Will you choose to receive this gift and answer the call on your own life to be a saint, persevering to the very end? May it be so of each of us today!
PrayerFather, thank you for the great cloud of witnesses that stand as a constant encouragement to us to persevere in faith. Amen.
ApplicationHow does this invitation into sainthood transform your vision of faithful discipleship?
Related Reading1 Corinthians 14:33; Ephesians 2:19; Jude 1:3
Post/Tweet todayEvery follower of Christ is called to be a saint, yet we must decide if we will receive it and journey with the Lord towards holiness of life. #WisdomHunters #saints
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