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Devotional - week of November 27, 2016


THAT GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us … Hebrews 12:1

A witness observes something and then tells others about it. In this case the witnesses are both observing believers and relating a message to us.

The passage follows the great “faith chapter” of the Bible. Someone has called it the “roll call of faith” because it relates the faith experiences of many Old Testament characters.

The overall picture of the first readers of the Book of Hebrews implied by this and other verses is that some of them were wavering in their faith.

The faith experiences of those mentioned in chapter 11 provide a message to the readers.

Their faith is saying, “Keep trusting God. Your faith in God will keep you in a life of obedience. It will keep you expecting miracles from God. It will result in miracles from God.

“Keep trusting in God. Your faith in God will keep you faithful to God even if He chooses not to do miracles for you—even if He permits you to continue in a state of suffering. If God should choose that for you, your life will be a powerful testimony to many.”

In his encouragement for believers to live by faith the author of Hebrews then writes:

… looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame … Hebrews 12:2

Live by faith and live by grace.