Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 8.4.21

By August 4, 2021Daily Bread

Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.

I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.

Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Dog Days Duets series. I pray that these weekly selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.

Today’s Scripture:

Hebrews 12:1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Example of Jesus

12 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,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] 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.

Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,[c] so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

Notice that today’s passage of scripture from the letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament begins with the words “Since, then…” or “Therefore,…” depending on the translation.  Either way, it tells us that something has gone before and what the author is about to say is dependent on that.  What goes before?  It is the writer’s list of great people of faith who have gone before.  He begins by saying, “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.”  Then, he begins to list people who have gone before, who lived by faith and talks about the role of faith in each life:

Abel

Enoch

Noah

Abraham

Sarah

Isaac

Jacob

Esau

Joseph

Moses

Rahab

Then, when he gets to verse 32, he says, “What more can I say? I would run out of time if I told you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.”

These make up part of what the writer of Hebrews calls “the Great Cloud of Witnesses.”  I love that description:  “A Great Cloud Of Witnesses.”  This Great Cloud of Witnesses is filled with people of faith who have influenced our lives and our faith and have made our world a better place because they were in it.  Who do you include in your own Great Cloud of Witnesses?

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Stand By Me”.

When the storms of life are raging,
stand by me; (stand by me)
when the storms of life are raging,
stand by me. (stand by me)
When the world is tossing me
like a ship upon the sea,
thou who rulest wind and water,
stand by me. (stand by me)

In the midst of tribulation,
stand by me; (stand by me)
in the midst of tribulation,
stand by me. (stand by me)
When the hosts of hell assail,
and my strength begins to fail,
thou who never lost a battle,
stand by me. (stand by me)

In the midst of faults and failures,
stand by me; (stand by me)
in the midst of faults and failures,
stand by me. (stand by me)
When I’ve done the best I can,
and my friends misunderstand,
thou who knowest all about me,
stand by me. (stand by me)

In the midst of persecution,
stand by me; (stand by me)
in the midst of persecution,
stand by me. (stand by me)
When my foes in war array
undertake to stop my way,
thou who rescued Paul and Silas,
stand by me. (stand by me)

When I’m growing old and feeble,
stand by me; (stand by me)
when I’m growing old and feeble,
stand by me. (stand by me)
When my life becomes a burden,
and I’m nearing chilly Jordan,
O thou Lily of the Valley,
stand by me. (stand by me)

I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

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