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The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, April 24, 2024, was written by Steve Wakefield of Alabama.



1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children— “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him; 6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” 7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8 If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9 Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:1-11 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

I loved coaching the eight-year-old Rangers Little League team. They learned an important life lesson during the season-ending tournament. The Rangers had yet to win a game, and the team and their parents couldn't wait for the season to be over. Fully expecting to lose, we played our first game of the tournament and won. The next day, we won again. The third game was against the best team in the league. They had dominated the league all season. Our team said, "We don't stand a chance." But I told them anything is possible, and that is why we play the game. We won the final game by a landslide.

As I contemplate the lesson the Rangers learned that day, I am reminded of our passage in Hebrews where we are instructed to run the race that has been marked for us. Although we face opposition, we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses and should not grow weary in our efforts. We must never give up or lose heart. When we face challenges that seem insurmountable, we need only to place our focus on God and God's promises. Our God will provide the stregth we need for what lies ahead.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


We all face obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. In truth, many of our obstacles are too large for us to overcome alone. Thankfully, we are not alone. God walks with us and offers us the encouragement, direction, and insight we need to overcome any obstacle. I invite you to reread Steve’s reflection and the scripture from Hebrews, reminding yourself that God can do the impossible.


Author's Prayer

Dear God, as we run our race, help us to fix our eyes on you and not grow weary. Amen.


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