Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 19, 2011
“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.” Hebrews 12:1
Dead heroes inspire you to live life to its fullest. Those who have endured hardship and were treated unfairly inspire us through our current tests and temporary trials. Most of us have not suffered to death because of our faith in Christ. Some have. Others have been down the road that denies earthly wealth, only to receive heaven’s riches.
Heroes of the faith knew a better way. Theirs was the way of faith in God and obedience to His expectations. No temptation of the world was strong enough to pull them away from the moorings of their walk with God. With some, even on their deathbeds, there was an uncharacteristic unselfishness and generosity.
Heavenly heroes do not languish without hope on the eve of their homegoing. Instead, they are busy bestowing blessings to those who will be left behind. These heroes of the faith have an eye on heaven in worship, while they quietly wind down for the conclusion of their earthly assignment. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). Look for heavenly heroes who may have lived within your lineage. You may be surprised to discover the faith of former generations was robust and alive.
Or, you may need to adopt one of heaven’s saints who can represent one of God’s finest heroes. Let them motivate you to live a life worthy of God’s calling. Let their past faithfulness propel you to do the same in the present. We all need heroes who have overcome adversity by faith in God, and who knew how to enjoy Him whether in times of difficulty or peace.
Your heavenly hero may be a godly grandparent who walked faithfully with the Lord. You watched your grandmother and/or grandfather persevere through adverse conditions. They kept a relationship with God that flourished and grew, up to the very end of their lives on earth. Money was not an issue for them because they learned to be content with a home, food, and clothing. Relationships are what mattered most to them. They always seemed to have time for you. Phone conversations did not seem rushed and their door was always open. In their presence there was a serenity and stability that had heaven as its origin. You experienced a little bit of heaven each time they graced your presence.
Now is the time to allow the death of your heaven-bound hero to have even more impact on your life. Let their going home galvanize your faith. They remained faithful to the end, even though they did not receive their full reward in this life. Their life of perseverance with God is a tremendous motivation for you to do the same. You worship Christ, but you can still let your heavenly hero facilitate a deeper walk with God. Your hero is dead, but their influence is greater now than when they walked the earth.
Ask God to graft their passion for His word into your heart and mind. Remember their words of encouragement, and become more secure and confident. They were bigger than life. Now in their death they have heaven’s platform for even greater Kingdom leverage. Your greatest hero is Jesus, but be encouraged to remain true to the faith by these lesser ones who reside in heaven. Because one day you may very well do the same for another.
Taken from the November 19th reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God.
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