Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Heroes - Part 2

See this post for my initial thoughts on heroes in our life. That will give the background on what I say here.

So in the Bible study we talked about who we admire. I mentioned my dad and pastor.

Here is something I was thinking about later. Why didn't any Bible characters come to my mind? I guess it seems too easy to list Jesus as my hero. But what about all the other people?

I absolutely believe that the Bible is true. It's true in doctrine and history. But maybe I look at it as more of a story.

I don't like a lot of fiction because even though it's a nice story it's not completely true. What good is it to read about someone doing something great or making a good moral choice if it's just a story. It may make me feel warm but I can't really grab hold of it. I do like to hear accounts of exploits and choices made by real people. If they did it then maybe I can too.

So as I thought about Bible characters, I realized I view them as stories; as someone pictured in the colored pages of a kid's story book. But they weren't. I know they existed in flesh and blood. They succeeded and failed just as I do. Many did great things for God and some did very dumb things. I can learn from them, be inspired by them, imitate the good things they did and try to avoid the mistakes they made.

There are guys like David who was a man after God's heart yet committed adultery and murder. Joseph extended forgiveness to his conniving brothers. Paul wasn't afraid to admit he was going the wrong way and ended up doing great things for God while suffering greatly. Noah showed great faith in building the ark. Daniel endured the lion's den. Elijah exposed idolatry and the false prophets of Baal. Timothy demonstrated that young people can do great things for God. Mary showed that sitting with Jesus is the most important thing. Mary Magdalene, delivered from demons, followed Jesus to the cross, went to His grave and was the first to see Him after He rose from the dead. John the Baptist was beheaded for his righteous stand.

These aren't just stories. Real men and women followed God and lived more difficult lives than I probably ever will.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

I will try to remember these thoughts in the future. I have a new set of heroes.

Philip

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