Last night some friends and I went to a hockey game. Our local team the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were playing the St. John's Ice-Caps. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ,or baby Pens, as they are often called are the minor league affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
From the opening face-off the game was pretty intense. What hockey game is not?
The Ice-Caps play an aggressive style of hockey and i was not sure the Pens could match it. Why? I have been to a few of their games and sometimes their style of play is not such. They to my suprise matched the intensity and the first period was exciting. I had no hopes that they could keep it up. Boy was I wrong! With the first period ending in a 1-1 score, the crowd was on the edge of their seats.
Could we expect more of the same in the second period? Tune in to find out.
Less than a minute into the second period the Pens scored to take a 2-1 lead. The crowd goes wild. On the screen above us a noise meterwas displayed encouraging the hometown fans to make some noise. They did, believe me. The stadium began to shake from it all. With the crowd firmly behind them and the score in their favor, the Pens picked up the pace offensively and defensively.
As i take all of this in, Hebrews 12:1 came into my mind. It says "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 besets us, and run with endurance the race that is set before us."
From the seats next to the ice to the seats up near the rafters, all were involved in the game. Not one person either a WBS fan or a STJ fan, was sitting idle.
That is what I get from Hebrews 12:1. No one in that great cloud of heavenly saints is sitting idle as we here are living our daily lives as children of God. Think about this for a moment.
Adam, Eve, Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Job, Jonah, Daniel, David, Jonathan, Saul, Asa, Joshua, Mariam, Anna, Sarah, Deborah, Gideon, Samson, Ezekiel, Caleb, Benjamin, Joseph, Hannah, Samuel, Nathan, Peter, James, Mary, Mark, Lydia, the prison jailer, Titus, Philemon, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquila, even those who are unnamed, and so many other's are up in heaven rooting for us to endure the trials of daily living but for a little longer.
Although the game was 5-1 in the second period, it was not over. The crowd was letting the home team know they are with them and if they can only endure the last 20+ minutes of the game then the desired results will be in their grasps. VICTORY!!!!
That too is our goal as followers of Jesus Christ, victory. We have the victory because of the Cross of Calvary, but we are not at the end of our race (our lives). Work still needs to be done. Souls needed to be added daily to the kingdom of heaven. That great cloud of witness is our crowd shouting and screaming and stomping their feet for our benefit. We cannot see them, but the Word of God tells us they are there. Who amongst us cannot find that extra mojo to keep going? Sure, we get tired and frustrated at the constant attacks of the enemy. At times is seems as if the enemy will overcome us and we will stumble along the way but, but, but " be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b). Victory is assured.
In our physical exsistence we cannot have that kind of assurance all the time. Life has too many variables. However, spritually, we can. There is only One and His name is Jesus.
I leave you with this from Matthew 24:13 " But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
We know the outcome of our faith. It has been foretold in centuries past.
The Penguins did not know the outcome of their efforts until the final horn sounded.
When we as born again believers of Christ hear that final trumpet then our victory will be complete.