Jonathan's Perspective  

Nov 8

'Eyes on the Prize'

I love All Saints Day – reading Hebrews 11 about the faithful who did great things for God and endured great things for God.  It creates an opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful people who helped me become who I am - as a person, as a Christian.  I think of the big saints who changed world history – Abraham, Moses, Peter, John, Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley – and the ones who made a more direct impact on my life – grandparents and mentors.  And thank God for all the living saints who continue to encourage and support me!

Hebrews 12 sums it up for us:

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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb. 12:1-2)

Like runners on the great track of life, we are surrounded by those who have already finished their race and now cheer us on to complete ours.  I can hear the voices of my grandparents and mentors who have joined the ‘cloud of witnesses’.  They tell me to do away with those things that diffuse my energy and make me less effective as a Christian.  They - knowing the temptations and sin that entangles – tell me that I can cast it off and rise above it.  And they are always calling me to look to Jesus who made me, loves me, and is renewing me.  While those saints are no longer on the track with me, Jesus is with me in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  He gives the constant guidance, encouragement, and focus I so desperately need when the race gets tough. 

Who are the people who cheered you on in this life and still cheer you on from the stands?  They know the victory that comes from a life lived in Christ.  They understand you and your struggles.  They love you with an even purer love than before.  It is nice to know that so many people, past and present, are in our corner saying, ‘Keep the faith!  Run the race!  Look to Jesus! 

Prayer: Thank you Lord for all those who have and continue to cheer me on.  Bless them as they have blessed me.

Running the race,

Jonathan

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