If there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things.
Every Texan like me knows the story of the Alamo. In 1836, two hundred soldiers withstood a siege by Mexican general Santa Anna’s forces for nearly two weeks. Finally, on the thirteenth day, Santa Anna overcame them and slaughtered every soldier. But six weeks later, Santa Anna’s forces were defeated in a surprise attack at San Jacinto. What was the battle cry that led the Texans to victory? “Remember the Alamo!” Were they remembering the defeat at the Alamo? The fortress we know as the Alamo? No, that battle cry was about remembering the heroes of the Alamo–those men who had the courage to keep on fighting to the very end.
That is exactly what the writer of Hebrews meant when he wrote, “Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us . . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (12:1). What “cloud of witnesses” was he talking about? Well, the writer just spent chapter 11 talking about Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, and other men and women of faith. He was saying, “As you think about these heroes of the faith, follow their example.”
Now, this verse is not about people sitting in the grandstands of heaven and looking down at us; it is about us remembering those who are in heaven and remaining faithful because of the example they have set.
Are you feeling ridiculed for your faith? Are people at work or school making fun of you because of your commitment to Christ? Remember Noah, who labored for 120 years building a giant boat in the middle of a desert. People made fun of him, but he remained faithful.
Do you feel like God has forgotten His promises to you? Remember Sarah, who was ninety years old when God finally fulfilled His promise to give her a son.
Do you feel like you cannot resist temptation in your life? Remember Moses, who chose to endure the ill-treatment of God’s people rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin in Egypt.
Are you having difficulty letting go of that one thing in your life that you know displeases God? Remember Abraham, who was willing to offer that which meant the most to him, his own son Isaac, in order to please God.
If you want to win the race of the Christian life, remember your spiritual heroes.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Spiritual Aerobics” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org