Our Daily Bread



The Twelfth Man

November 16, 2016

The Twelfth Man
Read: Hebrews 11:32–12:3 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3–4; Hebrews 11:20–40


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Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

A large sign at the Texas A&M University football stadium says “HOME OF THE 12TH MAN.” While each team is allowed eleven players on the field, the 12th Man is the presence of thousands of A&M students who remain standing during the entire game to cheer their team on. The tradition traces its roots to 1922 when the coach called a student from the stands to suit up and be ready to replace an injured player. Although he never entered the game, his willing presence on the sideline greatly encouraged the team.

Hebrews 11 describes heroes of the faith who faced great trials and remained loyal to God. Chapter 12 begins, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (v. 1).

Lord, give us strength to run our race of faith today.

We are not alone on our journey of faith. The great saints and ordinary people who have been faithful to the Lord encourage us by their example and also by their presence in heaven. They are a spiritual 12th Man standing with us while we are still on the field.

As we fix our eyes on Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (12:2), we are spurred on by all those who followed Him.

Lord, may we be aware of those in heaven who are cheering us on. Give us strength to run our race of faith today.

Faithful Christians from the past encourage us today.


The target audience for the book of Hebrews is Jews who had trusted Jesus as their Messiah. But due to persecution, in some cases imprisonment, and through confiscation of personal property, they were tempted to forsake their faith in Jesus and return to Judaism.

By David McCasland | See Other Authors

Our Daily Bread Topics: Encouragement Stories of Faith

Tags: example, faith, loyalty, perseverance

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  1. psalm9v1

    Loving greetings to ODB and the forum. Thank you for today’s devotional and the inisight and encouragement from each one. May Gods grace and peace fill your hearts today…

    Our Heavenly Father we praise You for today. Thank You for Your love in Christ which is beyond our understanding, the length, width, depth and height we could never comprehend. All we know is that it is constant and it never fails; it will never leave us nor forsake us for You are love.

    Lord, let Your love be the motivating factor in our lives, even as commit each day to You. As we read today’s devotional let your love stir our hearts to pray for and serve those around us , looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Thank You Lord for Your example and the example of the lives of the saints. May we also leave a worthy example of faith to our own generation.

    We pray especially for our own families today. We commit them to Your throne of mercy and grace. Tune their hearts Lord to You and fill them with Your love so they will respond to Your love in faith, gratitude and praise. O Lord our joy will never be complete until we know that they have also found their joy, peace and rest in You. Heavenly Father as You entrust them to us, we entrust them completely to You; You created them for Yourself. O Lord don’t let the enemy rule over them! How can they worship You if they are controlled by the enemy? Lord have mercy!
    Lord may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen.

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  2. poohpity

    Here in the west we get a little poke or prodding because of our faith every now and again but in other countries there is still torture, being burned, getting your head cut off, prison and many atrocities to get people to deny their faith. Getting t…

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  3. milehighbeliever

    Wed. 11/16/16 6:14 am. Good morning odb family! Thank you David McCasland for this thought. “the twelfth man”. Holy moly! wow! what a great thought ive never considered, us christians as being watched by the saints who have gone before …

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  4. renewmyfaith

    could you all please pray for me..my faith is getting so weak and I need renewed faith. Thank you!

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    1. poohpity

      Sometimes when we pray for renewed faith that may mean getting put in a position that all we have is to depend on God and life may get harder. So be prepared. It is like praying for patience we then are put in chaotic situations that patience develop…

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    2. sandy229

      I pray for God to increase your faith in Him, and that you will be the person He created you to be, and that you will be able to withstand all the schemes of the evil one, for your Hope is in the Lord God alone. In Jesus name, Amen. Praying the praye…

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