In Hebrews 11, the “By Faith” chapter, we see story after story of Old Testament men and women who lived lives of faith. By faith Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Rahab, even in hardships, danger, sorrow, and persecution, trusted in the assurance of God’s promises.
Having seen the promises afar off they were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:13-16).
What an example to us! As the next chapter begins, the writer sums up all these stories of faith: Therefore, 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (12:1-2).
We’re writing our own “By Faith” chapter here at Haran. We have so many of our own examples of those living lives of faith and assurance…and we have our own great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. As we remember their examples of faithfulness, we can see their influences in our own lives and in our congregation as we continue to run with endurance.
This Sunday, our music is a tribute to our cloud of witnesses. The praise band wants to dedicate our music to those who have gone before–our church members and other loved ones who over the past year have reached the end of their journeys, finished the race, and seen their faith perfected. This week’s songs tell of God’s promise: though we are strangers in this world, longing for home, someday we’ll be reunited with each other and with Him in the Promised Land.
Come join us this Sunday to hold fast to the promises! Praise God for those who have gone before us to lead the way, and praise Him for our family of believers strengthening and encouraging one another as we travel this journey together. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
See you Sunday,