“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 pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1,2
Even now, a crowd watches and surrounds God’s people as He works in them and through them. Those who have gone before now wait with the angels for the redemption of those of us who are making our way to that Heavenly land. Surely they cheer us on. Surely they pray and hope for us. Their perspective is clearer now that they stand in the presence of Jesus Christ. They see things differently now and watch and wait with expectancy for the day when the Father gives the word and Jesus returns to retrieve His own. They are a cloud of a crowd and the encouragement is ours.
This thought of a witnessing crowd brings motivation and brings focus to our soul. As we fix our eyes on Him, Jesus Christ, it is He who redeems us and perfects us as we walk. It is He who has Pioneered this path into eternity and has made THE way for us into the Heavenly land. So, we “zone in” on Him. We fix our eyes on the horizon of this existence, the gateway to Heaven, watching closely for His return. We chuck anything that might hinder our journey or get tangled up in our feet. Sin is left behind when our eyes are focused upward. Nothing will come between us. He is our Goal. Heaven is our destiny.
Paul speaks of the day when Lord Jesus will return to this Earth with those who have gone on before us. God will send them with Jesus when he comes back for His own. (I Thess. 4:14). What an encouragement! Christ is returning. That’s amazing enough but the thought of Him being accompanied by those who have gone on before brings great strength and blessing – and this reunion lasts forever! “Encourage one another with these words.” (I Thess. 4:18)
The day will come when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his powerful angels and he will be glorified in (emphasis mine) his holy people and marveled at among all those who have believed. (II Thess. 1:7,10). Sweet. The Greek language has a word that sums up our yearning: Maranatha. Come Lord!
May the Spirit of our Lord be with you all.
P.S. Would love to see you at our upcoming Bugscuffle Praise night on May 16, 2009 at the Allendale Baptist church beginning at 6:30PM. It will be a night of praise. We will also be raising money for our upcoming trip to Ghana, West Africa in August. My family is traveling there to lead worship at the annual West African Missionary Retreat.