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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Study 45 - Hebrews Chapter 12:1-2
- Letting Go of Sin

 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus as the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was before him endured the cross, discarding the shame, and has taken a seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews Ch 12: verses 1 to 2)(New International Version)

Letting Go of Sin

I feel confident for those who believe in Jesus that there are moments in our lives when God speaks clearly to us and guides us to the kind of life he wants us to live. This week I hope you will allow me a little indulgence in one of those moments in my life.
It was 1977 and I was torn between staying a roof fixer for the rest of my life and listening to my surfing buddies who thought following Jesus was a joke or giving my job and lifestyle up and going to college and study for some kind of ministry serving God. I had only recently come to know God and was enjoying witnessing to my friends who thought I had gone crazy. Torn between the two options I found myself reading this passage above and God spoke to me through it more clearly than any other time in my life. I was to let go of what others would think of me and step out into a world of the unknown in studying and trusting God with my life. This meant going back to high school as a 21 year old and doing year 12. I had left school as a beach bum in year 10 and had achieved poorly at school, mainly due to fooling around. It was so interesting sitting in the class room as an adult now watching others fool around like I did.

It was truly a defining moment in my life which is why this passage has come to mean so much. I have never regretted that decision and I have gained so much more because of it.

The examples of the Old Testament people of faith that we have considered in recent weeks are a great inspiration to us all. They teach us the true nature of faith in trusting God even when we have yet to see the fulfilment of his promises and admitting that our true home belongs in a perfected world of the future. Faith in God can result in both great victories and losses in life, something we all can identify with.

My problem or sin if you like was I wanted the approval and encouragement of my non Christian friends, something I have learnt you need to live without, even today. We have a race to run which is the life God calls us to live with Jesus the model we follow. He like the Old Testament heroes before suffered greatly but then won a great victory when he rose from the dead and ascended to a place of authority and honour.

There are moments in our life when we stumble because of sin or wanting approval or something happens we don’t expect. Sin has a habit of sticking around and I still struggle with this. But I encourage you to look to Jesus for your inspiration and to persevere because there is joy not only in following God even if we suffer but joy at the hope of getting even closer to God at the end when we finish the race of life.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, Thank you for those times when you speak clearly to us. May we respond always with faith and never give in to the temptations that are before us. Amen.

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