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Tag Archives: Hall of Faith

Bring Me Back

Sometimes life is like being placed into a giant maze without a map.  Whenever you make the wrong turn, its like one step forward, two steps back.  As soon as you hit a dead end, you have to go back to where you started, retracing your steps to find a way out.  If you don’t have any helper, guide or visible signs, this journey will last much longer than expected.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it, Matthew 7:13-14.

The Bible serves as a road map to bring you back to God’s desired destination.  During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus compares life to a series of roads.  The most popular ones are like interstate highways, well defined and marked.  However, Jesus uses the analogy of a small path to illustrate the road to heaven.  Somebody has cleared the path, but if you stray off to the left or right, its easy to lose your way.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.

The author of Hebrews refers to a great Hall of Faith, saints who have showed people the way to heaven.  Comparing life to a marathon, completing this race requires endurance and persistence.  When I get up each morning, I don’t always feel like doing the right thing.  There are plenty of days when I am exhausted, tired and worn down with little motivation to stay on track.  The group Evanescence sings about this state in their song Bring Me Back to Life.  This blog and song are dedicated to those who need to be brought back into God’s presence.

by Jay Mankus

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Alive But Not Liberated

Hogtied refers to having your hands and feet secured together. While this technique is often limited to rodeo competitions, many people go through life with certain restrictions. Some may end up gagged, stuck or tied up in a no win situation. Spiritual barriers may not be visible, but their affects are felt leaving countless individuals alive, but not liberated.

Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and release him,” John 11:44.

Prior to modern funeral homes, the dead were wrapped like a mummy to preserve bodies from accelerating the decay process. Bodies were often placed in caves, sealed by a large boulder. In the passage above, Jesus cancels Lazarus’ funeral. However, following this resurrection, Lazarus was alive, but not liberated. Lazarus’ grave clothes restricted his ability to move, talk and walk. Thus, Jesus invites pall bearers to unwrap Lazarus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.

Following the chapter of the Bible known as the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11, the author introduces a similar concept. Life on earth is compared to a marathon with the dead serving as witnesses, a large crowd cheering you on toward finish line in the race called life. Just as family and friends liberated Lazarus from his grave clothes, God wants believers to dispose of, get rid of and throw off anything that is weighing you down. As you pray to unload these burdens, you become one step closer to being alive and liberated.

by Jay Mankus

Great Cloud of Witnesses

In the beginning of Hebrews 12:1-3, the author is reminding believers of a great cloud of witnesses.  People who have finished the race, fought the good fight and are seated in heaven cheering us on until we have completed God’s will for our own life.  Today, Christians need to follow the example of these witnesses, taking them to heart by studying the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11.

Like the classic show Father Knows Best, sometimes we need to humble ourselves to heed the advice of our elders.  Christians must swallow their pride, seek godly counsel and begin walking by faith, not by sight.  Since the author of Hebrews compares life to a marathon, we need to take every day serious, seize each moment and be on guard for days can be evil,  Ephesians 5:15-16.

While life may appear easy for certain individuals, the great cloud of witnesses risked failure for the kingdom of God.  Building an boat before rain existed, telling others that your 90 year old wife was going to have God’s chosen son and that you would rather be a slave than grow up in royalty.  Although, the world still thinks Christians are crazy today, remember Hebrews 12:1-3.  Prepare yourself for life’s race through prayer, scripture reading and fasting so that whatever obstacles you endure along life’s road, faith will bring you home!

by Jay Mankus

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