July 31

by Joe Hill

Read Hebrews 11-12:1
Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. It walks through so many of the heroes of faith throughout the Old Testament, reminding us that it was by faith that they were who they were. None of these people were perfect, and they did not earn their status before God by the things that they did. Rather they had faith in God, and by this faith, many of them did great things. And then Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us through off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” We can look back on those who came before us and their faith to find encouragement and strength to face the challenges- both internal and external- that we face today as we learn to put our faith in and trust God.

Not only are we surrounded by this “great cloud of witnesses”- our ancestors of faith throughout history- but also even today we are surrounded by those who have encouraged and inspired us, mentored and discipled us in faith. We are surrounded by those who faiths and lives we respect, appreciate and look up to. Today, I want you to spend some time writing out this “great cloud of witnesses” in your life! And I want you to do this in a few categories.

1) What are the stories or characters from Scripture that inspire your faith? Write them out!
2) Who has been a meaningful part of your faith journey up to this point? Who have been your mentors in faith? Whose presence in your life at different points in your life have helped you to grow in faith?
3) Who in your life today is a part of your “great cloud of witnesses? Who are the people that inspire, encourage, and challenge you to run the race marked out before you? Who are the people who are constant sources of encouragement? It can be such a great blessing to be reminded of our family members in our family of faith!
Thank God today for your cloud of witnesses! Thank God for the people that He has put in your life, and how He has used them to strengthen, grow and encourage your faith.

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