Jesus the Predecessor

December 31, 2022
Bishop, W. F. Houston, Jr.
Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!!!
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
In Hebrews 11, we find a fascinating roll call of biblical faith giants. These are people who saw hope when others saw only despair, triumph where others saw loss, and believed God could perform the impossible when everyone else gave up. Not only did they see with eyes of faith, but they also acted based on what they observed.
The people whose faith is being praised here all saw faith as an active verb, a spiritual muscle they could flex and use. They were able to keep going through the tough times because of their faith, much like Joseph was able to keep going in Egypt. Like Rahab and Gideon, they were brave enough to venture into the unknown and take chances.
It shouldn't surprise us that the final item on this list is "Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Jesus, the King, and Prince of Peace. Jesus, also known as Immanuel (which translates to "God with us"). Jesus, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
We can remember those who have gone before us in the faith, our spiritual forebears in Jesus' extended family, and the countless others who have been adopted into God's family. This is hugely significant as we embark on the once-in-a-lifetime adventure and begin 2023. Their experiences can serve as a source of inspiration for us. Still, we have the One who looks back at us with encouragement, who came to die so that we may live with Him eternally.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, equip us with the bravery and fortitude we need to be the people of faith that You have called us to be. In Jesus's Mighty Name, Amen.

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