A few weeks ago we had a blast gathering with folks in our home and their families. We ate, laughed, swam, listened to the rolling thunder get closer and closer, ate some more, especially the banana pudding YUMMY! It was a joy to see and hear folks take a breath from laugh join with others that are like hearted and nourish one another. We took the time to huddle everyone under the carport to place an exclamation point on the nourishment.
We set the scene by reminding folks that at some point when the letters in the bible were written that there were not mass copies handed out to everyone in attendance, therefore the desire to listen, retain then share was the way the encouragement in the letters was distributed to others in the area. Man to have been on the scene to see the raised eyebrows of those hearing for the first time how Christ came to fulfill, to set free, that the Old is gone and the new has come through Christ. To hear the kiddos ask their mama’s and daddy’s “what’s the big deal?” “why are ya’ll so enamored with this reading”?
Since we have screens and books to refer, we read the following
Heb 12:1 NIV 1 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,
notice that in almost all translations the hinderance, the encumbrance is along with or joined with sin, giving us the reader a since that we have two things going on here
- everything that hinders AND
- the sin that so easily entangles
…yes sometimes the hinderance such as the ”biggies” result in the sin that tangles us up in our daily lives. but what about comparison?…could that be a hinderance…could that be that “something” or “someone” that we need to throw off? Don’t we first have to find out why we even put it on?
in my life the answer is a resounding YES….think of the ways we compare, which is to note the similarity or dissimilarity between someone or something
..what is our motive when we do so?
to make ourselves feel better at the expense of the other? doesn’t that then become the hindrance, the pressure, the stress that we create to be like someone else or wish they were more like us?
our DNA is like no other..Go back for just a moment and read the list of folks referred to in chapter 11…what did they have in common, what was their similarity?
yet through their DNA they by faith they beLIeVED. Through some of the craziest circumstances they stood firm in their faith and the world took notice!
Man to be free from feeling less than, inadequate, or even the spirit of superiority that may surface when the hinderance of comparison sneaks in.
we sat and listened to person after person describe areas of their lives where comparison had crept in, the voices of 5 to 14 years old along with 54 to 74 and all ages in between shared. Then as we started to close and ignite our week, we asked “what is the word you would want Jesus to speak over you today?” OH MY GOSH this was powerful, too many to list….what is your word?
What if Together in our homes, at work and in our community we beLIeVED? What if like the great cloud of witnesses before us, we moved toward the positive words jesus continues to speak through us. That we would beLIeVE we have the divinity of God through the Holy Spirit roaring through us? having trouble believing?
then join me in throwing off EVERYTHING that hinders from this love? and when you do so, see where and who God takes you to show a world who HE is in your life.