Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look listen live!

I heard Bish preach this twice in six days last month...the joys of Relay eh?

Hebrews 12:1-2

Listen and look we're told here by the writer to the Hebrews.

Listen to the crowd of matyrs than line the way. The image here is of a race taking place in a stadium. We have 'a great cloud of witnesses', a great many witnesses watching us run the race in this metaphor. Listen to these people who held their lives cheap, and learn from their stories. People like Nate Saint and Jim Elliot, people like Norman Grubb and Howard Guiness, people like Perpetua, Saturas and Felicitas. Lets listen to these people's stories and learn from them.

What gave them the ability to hold their lives so cheap? Hebrews 10:34 says that the people who suffered then had 'a better and abiding possesion'. They were more concerned with Heaven, and with eternity than with fleeting gratification and human accolades. They threw off the sin that so easily entagles as this passage says. Are we doing that? Are we, am i getting rid of the things from popular culture in my life that stop me from holding life cheap, and from listening to the stories of the matyrs?

Keep your eyes on Jesus. This is what the crowd will tell us. Look, and see His glory and be changed (2 Cor 3:18) Some people get it wrong...Esau, for example will not be in the crowd. He sold his birthright for a single meal. Now, we may scoff at that...but surely we all do the same when we sin, it's just our price is sometimes higher. We need to be spurned on by the warnings of people who didn't and don't gaze on the glory of the Lord, of people who are easily distracted by that which entagles them. If we look at Jesus, and see His all surpassing, all encompassing glory, His all loving, all merciful nature, His amazing justice and righteousness. Look at Him and be satisfied. Why would we want to choose something other than the best?
Who is Jesus? Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He went through all that He needed to, suffered more than anyone ever would or will, to effect our salvation. Why did He go through this? Why have those nails driven through those innocent wrists? Why suffer the torment of being sepeated from the Father? For the joy set before Him. Because He knew what was ultimately on the other side. He knew about Heaven. And He knew it was better.

So listen to the crowd, look at Jesus, remember how much better He is than life... and keep running.

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