Hebrews 12:1, 2 - The Race of Faith is Looking Unto Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1, 2: The Race of Faith is Looking Unto Jesus!

Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NKJV) Let us run with endurance the race 
that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of 
our faith  

Hebrews 12:1, 2 (TNIV) Let us run with perseverance the race 
marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter 
of faith  


The Christian life involves hard work. It requires us to give up 
whatever endangers our relationship with God, to run patiently, and to 
struggle against sin with the power of the Holy Spirit. To live 
effectively, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We will stumble if we look away 
from him to stare at ourselves or at the circumstances surrounding 
us. We should be running for Christ, not ourselves, and we must 
always keep him in sight. [Life Application SB] 

Enoch kept the Lord ever before him, and the Inspired Word says 
that he "walked with God." He made Christ his constant companion. He 
was in the world, and performed his duties to the world; but he was 
ever under the influence of Jesus. He reflected Christ's character, 
exhibiting the same qualities of goodness, mercy, tender compassion, 
sympathy, forbearance, meekness, humility, and love. His association with 
Christ day by day transformed him into the image of Him with whom he 
was so intimately connected. Day by day he was growing away from his 
own way into Christ's way, the heavenly, the divine, in his thoughts 
and feelings. He was constantly inquiring, Is this the way of the 
Lord? His was a constant growth, and he had fellowship with the Father 
and the Son. This is genuine sanctification (RH April 28, 1891). 

   If you want your mind to be healthy, focus your thoughts on 
what is true and good. Nothing is truer or better than Jesus. Study 
how he lived, because his life is the one to imitate. Read the 
Gospels, which tell the story of his life. Ask yourself, what did Jesus 
do that I could learn from? Picture him running the race just ahead 
of you, showing you how it's done.  
   During his earthly life, Jesus focused his thoughts beyond 
the cross to the joy waiting for him in the Father's presence. 
Focusing on that joy at the finish line enabled him to put up with 
anything during the race - even when people didn't respond to him with 
faith and love. He spent plenty of time alone with his Father, so 
people didn't keep him down. When the road seems difficult, ask him to 
guide and strengthen you. 
   Keep your eyes on Jesus, and you'll find you are able to 
overcome anything that stands in your way. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day 

   Filling our minds with thoughts of Jesus is a great way to 
counteract discouragement and doubt. When we've had a setback and we're 
trying to get up on our feet again, thoughts of Jesus rising from the 
dead can give us hope. We can think about his tenderness in dealing 
with those in need, his bravery in facing suffering, his honesty, his 
wisdom, his strength. Whatever qualities we're lacking, we can tell God, 
"Please make me more like Jesus in this area of my life."  
   Jesus is our point of reference. How would Jesus approach a 
particular situation? What would give him the courage to do that? He is our 
standard of service, showing us how the King devotes himself to the needs 
of others. He demonstrates an eternal mindset, remembering that the 
most important things are those that will last beyond this life. 
   Jesus is God's messenger and the high priest who intercedes 
for us at the Father's throne. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional 
re Heb. 3:1] 

   Sometimes the big, one-time sacrifices are the easiest ones. 
We check them off, and they're out of the way. But God calls us to 
ongoing, living sacrifice. We offer what we eat for breakfast, lunch, and 
dinner to him. We offer our attention in prayer each morning and 
throughout the day. We offer our energy to serve him all day long. This is 
our true and proper worship, our moment-by-moment offering.  
   He is pleased with that living sacrifice no matter what the 
mirror or the scale says. He is delighted by us no matter what. We may 
think we have little to offer, but God sees a devoted heart as the 
most valuable sacrifice he could have.  
   How can you shape your day today as an all-day, 
moment-by-moment offering? What choices does he invite you to make? Will you be a 
living sacrifice? 
   An all-day, moment-by-moment offering of your body, mind, and 
heart is so pleasing to God. [The Daniel Plan 365-Day Devotional] 


A Single Step
   I can remember being at a point when I knew my life was 
spinning out of control. I knew there were a lot of things I needed to 
change. But I didn't want to alter my current lifestyle too much. So I 
looked for ways to get some help without having to make drastic 
changes. I attended some secular meetings, for example, but didn't really 
commit to their programs. Then when nothing happened, I would say, "Why 
isn't this working? Maybe God doesn't love me. Maybe I don't deserve 
to change."  
   The truth is, I didn't need one more thing to cram into my 
messed-up life. What I needed was something to replace my messed-up life. 
I needed to let go of my old life and hand it over to God. I 
finally did that and now, twenty years later, I can't imagine why it 
took me so long to do something so right and true and amazing.  
   A race begins with a single step, and so does recovery (and 
the Christian life). The only way to run with perseverance is to 
hang on to God's hand and let him take the lead. True change comes 
only when we die to ourselves and allow Christ to set the pace.  
   Father God, thank you for taking charge of my mess and 
helping me run my race with confidence. You are responsible for 
everything I am and ever hope to be. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate 
Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny Baker] 

Our Race
   I don't think I've ever seen an athlete prepare for a race by 
attaching a parachute to his back. It would only make running his race so 
much harder, maybe even impossible, because it would add resistance. 
Now maybe that athlete would use a parachute in training, but when 
the race is ready to start, he doesn't want anything that will make 
it more difficult to run. 
   Our hurts, hang-ups, and habits can work just like that 
parachute. They cause resistance that can slow us down, even stop us in our 
tracks as we begin our race for healing and wholeness. It would be 
foolish to hold onto that junk while we're trying to move forward. Hurts 
keep us from being able to reason through obstacles and plan our 
strategies. Hang-ups grab at our feet and try to trip us up. And those bad 
habits, they waste precious seconds on the track and keep us from 
running effectively. 
   The race for recovery (and the Christian life) is difficult 
enough without carrying the past with us. The only way to succeed is to 
unburden ourselves, put on our track shoes, focus on the finish line, and 
run for our lives.  
   Father, show me how to unburden myself of everything that 
will slow me down and hinder my race for recovery (and the Christian 
life). In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by 
John & Johnny Baker] 

Hitting the Wall
   A friend of mine ran a marathon. He told me it was one of the 
most difficult things he's ever done. He explained that at a certain 
point in the race, his mind began to tell him, "It's time to stop. You 
can't go on." Marathon runners call this "hitting the wall." Only by 
pushing through that wall are runners able to finish the race. 
   Being in recovery is a lot like running a marathon. At some 
point, we start to hear that old tape in our heads: You cant go any 
further. This is just too hard for you. That means we're about to hit the 
wall, and we're faced with the choice to push even harder or give up. 
   Experienced runners say they get through the wall by trusting 
their training and with the help of all the people on the sidelines 
cheering them on. That's the part our sponsors and accountability 
partners bring to our recovery - their encouragement means everything. 
   The difference between winning and losing, to a large extent, 
depends on who we choose to listen to. If we listen to the voices that 
tell us to give up because we're never going to make it, we'll never 
see the end of the race. But if we choose to push through the wall 
and go for that finish line, we will hear the cheers of men and 
   Help me, Father, to push past the wall and finish my race. I 
know I can't do it without you. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate 
Recovery Daily Devotional by John & Johnny Baker] 

Hurt People, Hurt People
   In recovery we hear that "hurt people, hurt people." We've 
all experienced this, and sometimes, we see it happen to others. 
It's heartbreaking. School shootings, for example, are a grotesque 
display of true evil that has brought heartbreak and pain to so many 
lives. How are we to deal with such deep pain? Where is the hope in a 
tragedy such as these?  
   The answer is that we have no hope apart from Christ. Without 
him, such tragedies just spawn more hurting people who go on to lash 
out at others in a futile effort to quench their own pain. Jesus is 
the only source of comfort and light capable of guiding us through 
our pain to a better place.  
   When our hearts are breaking and we have questions swirling 
around in our heads - questions we fear have no answers - God invites 
us to come and talk it out with him. Many of the answers may be 
past our comprehension, but knowing the answers are safe with him 
allows us to hand our questions - burdens too great for us to bear - 
over to him. God cares about everything that concerns us, everything 
that grieves our hearts. In the midst of the darkness, he is our 
hope, the one we can trust.  
   Lord, my heart is breaking as I see hurting people hurting 
people all around me. Help me to leave my unanswered questions with 
you. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Celebrate Recovery Daily Devotional by 
John & Johnny Baker] 


   Look to Me as your joyful Focus. You were made for Joy, and I 
am the boundless, overflowing Source of delight in your life.  
   I never run out of anything because I am infinite. If you 
draw too much from other pleasures, they will eventually let you 
down. The nature of addiction is that you need more and more of a 
substance to get the same effect as before. This is a self-destructive 
trap. However, the more you make Me your Focus, the less dependent you 
are on other things. You can still enjoy the good gifts I provide, 
but you don't need to grasp onto them, having to milk every possible 
bit of pleasure from them.  
   Learn to fix your gaze on Me even as the world parades before 
you. Whisper My Name in remembrance that I am near, and tell Me about 
what troubles you. Thank Me for the things you enjoy - loved ones, 
shelter, food, sunlight, starlight, and especially My glorious Presence. 
Seek My Face and My will; look to Me and My strength.  (Heb. 12:2; 
John 15:11; 1Ti. 1:17; Psa. 105:4) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 

   I give you Joy in your journey through the world. This 
sparkling gift is not a luxury; it's a necessity! There are bumps in the 
road ahead, as well as sharp curves, ascents, and descents. Without 
Joy in your heart, you will become weary and discouraged. 
   Joy is not dependent on the circumstances in your life. It 
can transcend them all! This is why impoverished people are often 
more joyful than those who have material wealth. Sick - and even 
dying - people can also be joyful when they're trusting in Me as 
Savior, Lord, and Friend. 
   Seek to spread Joy in the world around you. Let My Light 
reflect from your demeanor - through your smiles, your laughter, your 
words. The Holy Spirit will equip you to do this as you give Him space 
in your life. Ask Him to fill you with contagious delight. 
Concentrate on staying close to Me, and I will lead you along the path of 
Life. In My Presence there is fullness of Joy. (Heb. 12:3; Hab. 3:17, 
18; Psa. 16:11) [Jesus Always by Sarah Young] 


God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is 
made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything 
else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself 
is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our 
spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is 
just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without 
bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart 
from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. C. S. 
Lewis in Mere Christianity  




Most Important Decision in Life: 

Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782

Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE


Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw: 

Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series: 

Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/

ABible.com: http://www.aBible.com