Hebrews 12:1b-2a - The Race of Faith: Looking Unto Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1b-2a - The Race of Faith: Looking Unto Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NKJV) let us lay aside every weight, and the 
sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the 
race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and 
finisher of our faith,  

Hebrews 12:1b-2a (TNIV) 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the 
pioneer and perfecter of faith.  

In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the single-hearted 
purpose that should characterize the Christian's race for eternal life... 
Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness--these are 
weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully 
the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into 
sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the 
sacrifice. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the 
eternal principles of right. {AA 312}   

The Cross Our Hope
   If those who today are teaching the word of God, would uplift 
the cross of Christ higher and still higher, their ministry would be 
far more successful. If sinners can be led to give one earnest look 
at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified 
Saviour, they will realize the depth of God's compassion and the 
sinfulness of sin.   
   Christ's death proves God's great love for man. It is our 
pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be 
like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, 
reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father's love, 
Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save 
the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.   
   Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. 
On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the 
Saviour's love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to 
the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, 
for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has 
reached the highest place to which man can attain.  {AA 209}  [Remnant 

Your Attention, Please
   Toddlers are notorious for their short attention spans. Older 
children and especially adults, however, can fix their attention on 
something for quite some time. Have you ever tried to pull a ten-year-old 
away from a favorite video game? Or how about trying to pull an avid 
sports fan away from the game of the week?  
   It is with this kind of absorption that the writer of Hebrews 
says we should fix our attention on Jesus. Unlike video games and 
sporting events, focusing our entire attention on Jesus can benefit us in 
many ways, the most important of which is a deep relationship with 
God. As you read this passage, refocus your eyes on Christ.  
   Jesus suffered tremendous humiliation, injustice, and 
physical pain to do God's will (Hebrews 12:2-4). Strangers arrested him 
for crimes he didn't commit, beat him, mocked him, and spat on him. 
Friends deserted him. His heavenly Father left him to die alone. He died 
slowly and painfully in the company of common thieves. He became an 
offering for our sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). That is the price Jesus 
paid to obey his heavenly Father.  
   The struggles you endure to follow Jesus are real. It takes 
energy and commitment to say no to sinful desires, to do good deeds 
that you don't want to do, and to discipline yourself to pray and 
study God's Word on a regular basis.  
   When you feel discouraged in your Christian life, think of 
Jesus and all he went through to do what God wanted. Then take heart 
knowing that you can do what God requires of you by his strength and 
grace. Stay focused on him. [The One Year Through the Bible Devotional 
by Dave Veerman] 

Tourist Or Pilgrim?
   Eugene Peterson observes that millions make decisions for 
Christ but then are captured by a "tourist mind-set." They want instant 
spirituality, "adopting the lifestyle of a tourist and wanting only the high 
   That perspective contrasts sharply with developing a mature 
Christian life. The title of one of Peterson's books, A Long Obedience in 
the Same Direction, captures what discipleship actually requires.  
   An authentic spiritual journey is more than merely an 
enriching experience  a museum visit or getting an advanced degree. It's 
a rigorous adventure, in many ways as demanding of our bodies and 
souls as the tales told by Homer, Tolstoy, or Hemingway.  
   Peterson contrasts the idea of a spiritual tourist with two 
biblical words: disciple and pilgrim.  
   As disciples, we learn from our Master throughout our life's 
journey. Peterson says that our learning - unlike gathering information 
and insight in a school or an online course - is like being "at the 
work site of a craftsman." We learn right in the midst of our 
tumultuous lives, with Jesus the master carpenter and craftsman guiding and 
deepening us as we learn and grow.  
   We are also pilgrims on a lifetime journey. With a strange 
sense that this world is not our home - despite our firm attachment to 
it - we seek the way to the Father's house.  
   How do we find our way? Peterson tells us: "Abraham, who 
'went out' is our archetype. Jesus, answering Thomas's question, 
'Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?' 
gives us direction. 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can 
come to the Father except through me.'" 
   Father in heaven, help me to be not a tourist but a pilgrim 
and a disciple. Guide me and fill my mind and spirit with your 
Spirit. Keep me faithful on my journey as each new challenge appears.  
   Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially 
the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance 
the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1, NLT [The One Year Book 
of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

CLASSIC SERMON ON THIS PASSAGE: Looking Unto Jesus by Theodore 



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