Hebrews 12

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

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Father, many, many faithful lives have gone before me–they were “pioneers who blazed the way, veterans cheering [me] on.”  Because of their faithfulness, generation after generation has been blessed.

Now, it’s my turn.  You have pointed out to Your people, including me, in Exodus 20:1-6, that nobody, nothing is to be God besides You; and that when I choose to obey You in this way, when I choose to love You more than absolutely ANYthing else, I have the power to influence “a thousand generations!” (20:6).  My obedience to You, my seeking You first, my fear and awe of You, my delight in You can all come together by Your hand. By this promise (and if You don’t send Jesus back for a while), a thousand generations from now, someone could be thanking You that I loved You and lived my life for You every step of the way.

So, Lord, as I run this race, help me to never quit seeking YOU first–“no extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins—[Keeping my] eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race I’m in.  Prompt and help [me] to study how He did it.  Because He never lost sight of where He was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with You! –He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever.  And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside You.”

When I choose to follow You, Lord, I have everything I need.  I get my needs taken care of by seeking Your kingdom before seeking anything else.  (Matthew 6:33)

When my walk is in obedience to Your will, there is no good thing that You withhold from me. (Ps 84:11)

When I delight in You, when I find my joy, my fun, my excitement in YOU, You give me the desires of my heart—sometimes even replacing mine with Your own. (Psalm 37:4)

When I fear You with an awe and respect for Who You are, there is nothing I lack.  (Ps 34:9-10)

When I am serious about and focused on following You, Lord, I can go through anything!  YOU are my Shepherd and may I not want anymore, and may I never want any other Shepherd or god.  I have everything I need. Thank you for Your goodness and mercy!  Amen.

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Hebrews 11

Lord, You stand by Your promises so that I might stand ON those promises

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This thing called “faith”–the basic part of my existence–trusting in You, Lord, is the “firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.  It’s [my] handle on what [I] can’t see.”

Life after life is paraded before me when I read the verses of this chapter.  The lives of people who held onto Your promises and believed You would do what You said.  Each one died without the end result of the promise in their hand, yet they still believed.  “They saw it was off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.  It was obvious they were looking for their true home.  Your plan, Lord, brings their faith [and my faith (every believer’s)] together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.”

Father, may my faith be spoken of with honor just as these people back then.

May my faith:
• stand firm even when I can’t see what I believe in.
• make the offering of myself, laid before You as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2), a gift that’s pleasing to You.
• “draw a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world” as Noah’s did.
• bring me into a more intimate relationship with You.
• hold onto the far-off vision You give and move me to simply follow You toward what You promise or show me… working out or walking through the little details to get there (even the ones that make no sense or seem like “have-tos” with no visible purpose….right now.
• help me to trust You to do what seems impossible to me.
• reach into the future as I touch other lives.
• strengthen me to let go of the pleasures of this world, to not worry about making sure I have fun here; but may I find my joy in You instead–consumed by You, used by You, led by You, fed by You …It’s ALL about YOU!
• look for the phenomenal in the ordinary, the dry ground where there’s usually sea.
• trust You and obey You even in the face of imposing “walls.”

You, Jesus, are the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  You have written it on my heart and You continue to edit and add chapter after chapter.  How wonderful it will be when the chapters here on earth are brought to a close and that “last” page reads “The Beginning.”  Then!  You’ll write the sequel!

Keep strengthening and growing my faith and making me just like Jesus!  Amen.