This Week’s Text: Hebrews 12:1-3
One of my favorite games of the year to go to in person is the final home game because it is Senior Day. It is the day when the players who are playing their final home game in a Gator uniform are recognized. Of course, the star players get the loudest cheers. But there is another type of player than can get an explosive cheer too, and that is the “Rudy.” The Rudy, based on a real guy, is the small guy on the team who takes all the beatings, all the wear and tear, and seems to get no glory.
One of Urban Meyer’s sayings as a coach was “4-6 seconds, maximum effort, every play.” It takes three and a half to four hours to play those 60 game minutes, but if you just cut it down to when they are actually playing, it is 20 minutes in 4-6 second bursts.
So, what does this all have to do with the Bible, our faith, and the church? Hebrews 11 is a litany of Bible heroes- Noah, Abraham, Moses. Yet, the author doesn’t stop there. They essentially say, “I don’t have time to tell you about everybody, but just look up for yourself the stories of people like Rahab and Gideon and Samson and the prophets.”
Rahab was a prostitute who lived in Jericho. When the spies from the army of the people of God came to investigate Jericho and make a battle plan to take the city, she helped them out. She hid them in her home, and then she helped them escape the city safely. She was spared from the destruction in the city, and now she is listed in a passage of the heroes of faith–alongside Abraham and Moses!
This is the true heart of the life of faith. Even with the superstars, it was not all highlights. Each and everyone faced challenges and struggles. Many of them never ended up accomplishing the goal with which they were tasked.
Then it gives the ultimate example of the life of faith–Jesus Christ. It says “for the sake of the joy that was set before him” be endured the cross. He got through it because he knew what was on the other side.
There will be times when the life of faith is lively, exciting, and uplifting. But there are also times when the life of faith is hard. My prayer for us this morning is that we would run the race set before us, keeping our eyes on the joy set before us. My prayer is that we would play the game of inches, 4-6 seconds of maximum effort on every play. I pray that we would put in that work of faith, even when the spotlight isn’t on us and it doesn’t seem like a big deal, because that is where the true heart and the fruit of faith lie.