Today’s Reading: Hebrews 11:32-12:13
Every runner understands that there is a point in every race when the runner reaches the point that he believes that he cannot run one step more. For many who don’t run often that can be about thirty seconds after they start, but even the true marathon runner experiences this phenomena that they refer to as “hitting the wall.” “The Wall” evades easy definition, but to borrow from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous definition of obscenity, you know it when you see it – or rather, hit it. Any athlete who has experienced this extreme muscle fatigue knows that it can make crossing the finish line a difficult – if not seemly impossible – goal to achieve.
The writer of Hebrews wants his readers to understand that there are some factors for finishing well, first he some things we must do and secondly he tells some things we must not do or avoid if we want to finish well.
“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.”
The word translated “strengthen” or literally “lift up” (anorthosate) is a plural imperative and implies a joint effort by many. When I read this verse I immediately thought of the incident recorded in Exodus 17:10-12. The Israelites are doing battle with Amalek, and as long as Moses lifted his hands the Israelites were winning, but when he became weary and let his arms fall down the enemy won. A man name Hur saw the situation and immediate took action. He could have given a report that the leader was failing to do his job and because of this Israel was losing. But what he did was he became a team player. Hur made steady the hands of the man of God in an unsteady situation.
There is really no room in the church for a “Lone Ranger Mentality.” We were never intended to have to live out our lives of faith alone.
When we practice the ministry of encouragement, our words need not be polished or flowery, it is better if it is from the heart. Last week, I was once again blessed by an email from a reader of these devotionals (Thanks again), even a small note, means a lot and is a great encouragement. A note of encouragement does not even have to be lengthy, just a brief note to someone can mean a lot. The most important thing is that we ask God who needs our encouragement and then take the time to do it! So that’s it, who can you encourage in the race today?