Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
This was the daily devotional sent by Pastor Greg Laurie a couple of weeks ago and it really spoke to me. The title of the devotion was "Eyes on Him," but the line that stood out for me is "since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses." I can only scratch the surface on the "cloud of witnesses" surrounding me.
I can start with the obvious, the unbelievers or those I know that have wandered in their walk, my mom and sister, Grammie, Travis (my ex husband), close friends. Those that I pray for daily. I pray for their salvation, I pray that the Lord will draw them close. I pray that I can be a living example to them, that through me they may be drawn to the Lord. I see them as witnesses surrounding me. Then I goof up. I complain to my mom about some wrong that I see someone has committed against me. I blow my cork when I let Travis get under my skin. I gossip with my girlfriends. Here I am blowing my witness. How will they see the Love of Jesus in me? I try my best. I even apologize to them for putting the burden on them. The unbeliever doesn't understand what the apology is for, but I hope that someday they will understand. I don't want to be poor example of a Christian. Hopefully my apology can help them see His love. Maybe?
The other obvious witnesses are the children. The kids that I see every week at church, the kids that I teach in Children's Ministry. My friends' children. Korey. I can preach the gospel to them all day long, but unless I live my life according the Word, I won't have the right impact. Wouldn't we all rather "see a sermon than hear one?"
The less obvious witnesses are my church family. I need to remember to live in a way that will not "put a stumbling block in my brothers way" (Romans 14:13). I need to remember to smile, be cheerful. Not grumble. Live according to Jesus. I don't know what is going on in each persons mind, so try to be a light to them. Always remember to err on the side of grace. No easy task for me, but with His help and guidance I can only hope to improve each day.
Today's verse from Pastor Greg is "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Thank you for sending that to me, Pastor Greg. That is what I have been trying to say here.
Turns out, Fran, that I am just as long winded as you are. Maybe more so!