Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1

Our scripture reading today says “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.”  Hebrews 12:4 maintains “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Dear friends in Christ, it is alarming that believers, today, think less about holiness of life. Holiness is the character of God, Holiness means set apart and consecrated to God and so we are to live for God. Living for God entails becoming more and more like God, living out God’s character, becoming the face of God, and becoming the perfect image of Christ in your character. St Paul got to this level of consecration when he said,” “It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)

There is a dangerous teaching among believers today, this teaching exchanges conscience for convenience, piety for pleasure and modesty for moral looseness. The devil seems to deceive some believers to think that one can still be saved even in sin.   In Matthew 1:21 the scripture says “She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Jesus died so that we can be freed from sin, there is no salvation in sinfulness. Romans 6:22 says “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Child of God, Hebrews 12:14-16 charges us, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”  Today, the Holy Spirit invites us to reflect deeply into our lives. Is my life a living expression of the life of God? Do I resemble God in my character? Am I selling my inheritance of holiness for some earthly gain? The Holy Spirit urges us today, to lay aside every weight of sin, weight of anger, weight of sexual impurities, weight of lies and deceptions, weight of cheating and immoral businesses, weight of wickedness and jealousy etc. these sins may be public or private, but have hung around us for some time and efforts to do away with them continued to fail. Hear this: “A brother told me that he was addicted to masturbation. We prayed and some spiritual exercises were given, including seeing his Parish Priest for counseling and confession. The urge abated for some time and he resumed again.”

Of course he was advised to see his Priest for thorough counseling and deliverance. Are you suffering from a habitual sin just like the brother in our story? Note that it is a weight and the load needs to be lifted off your shoulders. The weight of SIN can be very devastating, capable of denying one from the sweetness of Christ. And every believer MUST struggle to get rid of it. Let the struggle against sin continue, wake up and continue in your resistance against sins of any kind in your life, remember  that Jesus will save His people from their sins, not in their sin.

Prayer Points:

  1. Thank God for today’s reflection.
  2. Pray for God’s forgiveness.
  3. Ask God for the grace to overcome that particular sin in your life, which you indulge in often.
  4. Pray for a revival of the consciousness of holiness among believers today.
  5. Pray for members of the Daily Strength Family that God gives them all the needed grace to overcome sin.

Exercise: Take meditatively and seriously the prayer of St. Padre Pio for the next three days.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:18