Hebrews 12:1 NKJV Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
These verses follow the Hall of Fame of Faith and the people mentioned there are the witnesses being referred to here. These are ordinary people who trusted God to do extraordinary things.
What if you could spend time with one of these Heroes of the faith, what would they say to us? How would they encourage us?
God already has a life story written for you.
(Psalms 139:16 NLT) You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
But we add chapters to our story that were not part of what God wanted for us.
For when you’re feeling disappointed with your life…
“Let God write your story.”
(Hebrews 12:2 NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…
Get the pen out of your hands and into God’s hands…
✓ God searches for you to be in His story.
God searches for you all throughout your life in your dark moments, so that He can write the story for your life.
(Joshua 2:1 NIV) Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
(Revelation 3:20 TLB) “Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.
(John 15:16 NLT) You didn’t choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…
✓ God always makes a way for us to be in His story.
(Joshua 2:17-21 NIV) Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down… But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.” “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.” So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
The scarlet cord is symbolic of the blood of Jesus and what He did at the Cross.
Salvation is the way God gets into His story. God gave her the only way out. There is only one way out for us too!
But notice that salvation is not the end of the story!
✓ God’s story always has a redemptive ending.
Redemptive – God wants to make your life better than you could ever imagine.
Rahab ended up being the 28th Great Grandmother of Jesus.
42 Generations leading up to Jesus. Matthew wanted us to know that even though your story may not have started well but it can end up better.
(Matthew 1:3, 5-6 NIV) Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth…David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.
Tamar – God will forgive the darkest sin!
Rahab – God will use you regardless of your past!
Ruth – God will not leave anyone out!
Bathsheba – God can heal any situation!
Rahab’s Words of Encouragement
- “God invites you to be a part of His story—say yes.”
Stop resisting God! Jesus wants to bring light to your story.
(John 8:12 NIV) Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Stop writing your own story!
(Luke 9:23-24 NIV) Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Give your life to God. He can do way more with it than you can.
- “God wants to surprise you with His love—accept Him.”
God uses some people with really messed up stories to let us know that there is no place we can go that the love of God cannot reach.
(Hebrews 4:15-16 MSG) We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
- “God wants to use you to love others with your actions—serve Him.”
God is not waiting for us to get our acts together before He wants to use us!
(1 John 3:16-18 NIV) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
On 4 February 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave what was to be his last sermon, ‘‘The Drum Major Instinct,’’ from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church. This is an excerpt from the sermon set to music. “If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. (Amen) That’s a new definition of greatness.”
(1 Timothy 1:15-17 NLT) This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.
- “God signs His Name to your story— thank Him.”