That Great Cloud

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Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:22-24 NASB

We have been afforded so great a salvation that it should never be neglected. Instead, we should consider all those who have run this race of faith before- and run our race with endurance. Many ran the race before Jesus ever appeared upon the earth. We have such an advantage because we can look to Him (the author and finisher), our source and our goal, our example in all things. We have come to a different mountain than those of history long ago. They recognized the holy nature of God. But have we? They ritually followed the sacrificial law. But have we continued to live lives of sacrifice or have we become casual?

God, as this day begins- I recognize that You have made a way for me to know You in a much more personal way. And yet, I have been cavalier in my walk with You. You are a consuming fire. May I live in such a way as I recognize Your holiness. Forgive my casual nature that has been expressed as compromise. Cleanse me again by the power of Jesus blood. Let’s walk together today. Help me reach out and love others in Your name. Oh, I want to join that great cloud of witnesses!

I am thinking of the lyrics to the worship song by Matt Redman.

Nothing But The Blood

Your blood speaks a better word
Than all the empty claims I’ve heard upon this earth
Speaks righteousness for me
And stands in my defense
Jesus it’s Your blood

What can wash away our sins?
What can make us whole again?
Nothing but the blood
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can wash us pure as snow?
Welcomed as the friends of God
Nothing but Your blood
Nothing but Your blood King Jesus

Your cross testifies in grace
Tells of the Father’s heart to make a way for us
Now boldly we approach
Not by earthly confidence
It’s only Your blood

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