July 15, 2019: SOAP #3511:  Isaiah 22-24; Hebrews 12I Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 12:1 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. Observation:  The chapter breaks […]

July 15, 2019: SOAP #3511: Isaiah 22-24; Hebrews 12I

Scripture:  Hebrews (NIV) 12:1 Therefore, since we aresurrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything thathinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us.

Observation:  The chapter breaks in the Bible were not apart of the original text.  Generally,they are a great blessing as they help us locate the passages we want tostudy.  However sometimes theyhinder.  I believe chapter 12 should bethe end of chapter 11.  The great cloudof witnesses mentioned above is obviously a reference to all the heroes offaith in chapter 11.

It is a 'great cloud' due to the large number of people it contains.  Believers all the way back to creation.  It is a 'great cloud' because of it includesgreat people, i.e. Moses, Elisha, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, e.t.c.  It is a 'great cloud' to me because itincludes my parents and grandparents.  Itis a 'great cloud' to be because I will join them when my life on earth isover.  What a day that will be!  

Application:   Knowingthat family and friends were in the bleachers encouraged me to play football orplay my trombone in the band concert with more intensity.  I knew they were watching, and I sensed theirpresence.  I looked forward to theirwords of appreciation.   

Knowing that I have such a great audience watching me from heaven's bleachersencourages me to keep on when weary.  It encouragesme to invest some extra effort. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I look forward to joiningthat 'great cloud.'  Even now as a seniorcitizen, when I sit in earthly bleachers, use me to bring strength and encouragementto those around me.  Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!