Archive for May 2010
The following devotional was put together by my wife and I for her to deliver at the women’s retreat for our Sunday School class this weekend. I also shared it with those who did not go on the retreat, so husbands could hear it too. See attached at the bottom for the actual Word Doc.
12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, 12:2 keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 12:3 Think of him who endured such opposition against himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up
Endurance means living by grace through Faith
- The meaning of endurance is to stay the course (What)
- The means for endurance is grace (How)
- The mission of endurance is God – our author, support and prize (Why)
Flow of thought:
- James tells us that trials bring endurance and endurance maturity
- The author of Hebrews calls trials and discipline a race to endure
- The most important thing about running the race is staying on course
- We cannot endure ourselves
- We need God’s strength to endure
- We receive His strength by grace
- Without faith – trusting God - we cannot see His grace and do not rest in His grace
- Christ ran before us, so He is the example of the running and the end – for the Father rewarded Christ with Himself
- We endure for God, with God, by God’s strength and to God as our prize
Intro: James says that trials bring about endurance and endurance maturity or completeness. Here, the writer of Hebrews calls it a race – a race we must endure. This is a wish that we all have. When money is tight, we want to endure. When there are marital problems, we want to endure. When our children are sick and no one has the answer, we want to endure. We want to do this, but what does it really mean to endure? How do we do it? WHY do we endure?
Throughout the Old Testament, the most common themes are:
1. God is Sovereign and our provision and joy in life
2. Mankind wants to condescend Him and pervert His nature to be like us . . . recognizable and iconic
3. God alone is faithful
4. Mankind cannot be faithful
One of the most telling and horrifying – even defining passages of the Old Testament is 1 Samuel 8:7
The deception that our mother, Eve, fell for still rings in our ears – go your own way. We want a king like us, for us, from us . . . the heart of idolatry is always self-worship.
I am indebted to some brothers for continually introducing me to more edifying music. Andrew Peterson is one of those musicians. This song is very enlightening. I hope you see it that way, too.