Friday, February 15, 2008


DAY 18 Winning Edges Devotions

HEB. 12:1 “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.”

The above verse has always fascinated me. As a coach, what do you think comes to mind as I read ‘a great cloud of witnesses’? I get the privilege of conducting a game in the midst of a big group of people called fans. We have big crowds at our stadium and we also get a lot of media coverage. I never coach for these witnesses, but I am mindful of them.

When you are being watched, there is a certain level of accountability that encompasses that. You definitely don’t want to lay an egg in front of a bunch of spectators. I do know that when our fans get energized, it spills over into our play on the field. Think about a tight, big ball game and the sudden explosion of cheering as a player makes a game winning catch or tackle! That outburst of celebration is something special and creates a lifetime of memories!

If you are familiar with this Bible passage, you know who these witnesses are. Hebrews 11 lists the heroes of faith. When you look at the named and un-named saints and what they endured, you marvel at their heart for God and ability to trust the Savior!

This group of spectators puts a whole new spin on the meaning and accountability on the game. I wonder how different I would feel if our stadium was full of former hall of fame coaches. How much more would I celebrate if they cheered?

I don’t picture these heroes with folded arms and grumbling. I hear them cheering, ‘You can do it!” I feel the applause and the prayers. These former winners are pulling for us with excitement and love!
Does that inspire you to go deeper or longer? Let us get leaner and more focused to continue the race they started.
I know that it is popular in athletic circles to teach about the audience of one, meaning to worry only about God’s pleasure and not the praise of men. I think that this is valuable and helpful for our motivation.

But I also think that it is equally inspirational to accept the cheering of significant warriors in the faith. Moses followed God and that helps me. Jim Elliot asked God to consume him as fuel for the kingdom- do I have that same passion? Mother Theresa served the poor and destitute, can’t I feel some of that compassion?
These saints ran their race so well- it is not to much to ask me to follow.

Lord, thank you for the cloud of witnesses. I feel the positive pressure to honor them. This is a welcome help to keep going! The most faithful witness is the Lord Jesus Christ! I ask Him to help me lose the weights and sin. Let me feel the cheers and applause of heaven, to You glory alone! AMEN

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