Hebrews 12:1, 2 - Want To Be Like Jesus? Spend Time With Him.

Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NIV) 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, 2 
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter 
of faith. For the joy set before him he endured 
the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at 
the right hand of the throne of God. 

Hebrews 12:1, 2 (NLT) Therefore, since we 
are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses 
to the life of faith, 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. 2 We do this 
by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who 
initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy 
awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its 
shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor 
beside Gods throne.  


   Youve likely heard this old clich: 
You cant soar with the eagles if youre 
running with the turkeys. 
   Thats a great lesson for your kids to 
remember, but it has ramifications for our spiritual 
lives as well. 
   You should invest less time in certain 
relationships because theyll drag you down. If you hang 
out with people who have no ambition, youll 
have no ambition. If you hang out with critical 
people, youll become critical. The people you 
spend the most time around will influence what 
youre like on a day-to-day basis. 
   The Bible tells us this about our 
spiritual growth: We do this by keeping our eyes on 
Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our 
faith (Hebrews 12:2 NLT). 
   Thats why its so important to spend 
time with Jesus every day. Your spiritual growth 
depends upon it. You become more like Jesus when you 
spend time with him. 
   I highly recommend finding a special spot 
where you can spend time with God each day. Start 
with five, 10, or 15 minutes a day. It doesnt 
matter when you do it - just do it! Grab your 
Bible, find your favorite chair, read for a few 
minutes, and then talk to God about whats going on 
in your life. 
   Even Jesus made a habit of going to a 
place where he could talk with his heavenly 
Father. Luke 22:39 describes him going to the Mount 
of Olives to pray as usual (NIV). 
   If Jesus made it a point to spend time 
with his Father, wont that habit benefit you, 
too? Its the only way youll really start to 
become more like him. [Daily Devotional by Rick 
Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/] 


God's Choice Shaping Tools
   God's kindness to us is demonstrated by 
the fact that He doesn't leave us in the 
condition we were in before coming to faith. How 
tragic it would be if we still thought, felt, and 
acted the same way we did before receiving Christ 
as our Savior. Throughout our lives, the Lord 
uses His choice tools to shape us into the image 
of His Son. 
   PRAYER. By talking to the Lord in open 
dialogue, we develop a relationship with Him. He 
becomes not just our Savior, but our friend, and as 
the intimacy grows, so will our passion to be 
with Him. Setting aside time for prayer each day 
will become a delight, not a duty. 
   GOD'S WORD. You can't grow in your 
Christian life if you keep the Bible closed all week 
long. No one lives on one meal a week, yet many 
Christians try to get by with just a Sunday dinner of 
the Word served up by their pastor. How can we 
expect God's truth to do its transforming work if 
we never let it into our minds and hearts? 
   THE CHURCH. Christ uses His body of 
believers as a place for transformation. That's where 
we rub against each other and have the rough 
edges of our character smoothed. It is a place of 
instruction, accountability, and encouragement. 
   Are you letting the Lord use His 
character-shaping tools in your life? Our culture has no 
shortage of worldly voices and pressures that fill 
minds and influence behavior. Only when we 
intentionally schedule time for God, His Word, and His 
people can Christ do His transforming work in our 
lives. [In Touch Daily Devotional by Charles 
Stanley at www.intouch.org] 


   The Bible gives us the secret of a world 
changer: Looking unto Jesus, the author and 
finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). World 
changers run the race of life for Jesus. 
   In ancient Greece, Olympians didnt 
compete for the gold, silver, or bronze. They 
competed for a laurel wreath from the emperor. In the 
distance, exhausted runners could see the emperor 
standing with the laurel wreath that would be placed 
on the head of the winner. 
   As Christians, were running the race 
of life. We get tired from the attacks, 
obstacles, and challenges. Look ahead. Jesus is who 
were running for. There He stands, not with a 
laurel wreath, but with a crown. 
   The apostle Paul said, I have fought 
the good fight, I have finished the race, I have 
kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me 
the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the 
righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not 
to me only but also to all who have loved His 
appearing (2 Timothy 4:7"8 NKJV). 
   Look to Jesus. He is the one whom we seek 
to honor every day. He is the one whom we will 
stand up for one day. He is the one were 
running this race for. We dont do it for 
applause. We dont do it for notoriety or fame. We 
do it so that we can stand before Jesus one day 
and hear Him say, Well done, good and 
faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your 
   Look to Jesus. Dont look to 
circumstances. Dont look to people, either, because 
people will disappoint. Dont expect them to have 
an encouraging word. In fact, sometimes 
theyll have a discouraging word. Theyll 
challenge your motives and what youre doing. 
   Look to Jesus. Press on. [By Greg Laurie 
from Harvest Ministries; 

CONSIDER HIM: Who Endured... So That You 
Will Not Grow Weary And Lose Heart. 

   The path to joy is full of pitfalls, 
valleys and steep climbs. That's the way it was for 
Jesus. But through all the hardships, he kept 
focused on "the joy set before him." Jesus was able 
to endure his cross because he kept in mind the 
joy of reunion with his Father, the joy of 
triumph over sin, the joy of all his divine rights 
finally restored to him, and perhaps most wonderful 
of all, the joy of being eternally surrounded 
by the very people for whom he bled and died. 
This is why Jesus Christ was able to endure the 
cross and scorn its shame. All for joy! 
   It's very much the same for you and me. 
Our path to joy is full of pitfalls, too. But 
Christ has gone before us, imparting to us his 
enabling power to suffer with him. Jesus assures us 
in Matthew 5:11, "Blessed [or happy and joyful] 
are you when others revile you and persecute 
you... Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is 
great in heaven." And exactly what is our reward 
at the end of all our hardships? Our reward 
will be to enjoy God with the same joy that Jesus 
has in his Father. Oh happy day! 
   Christians have no reason to be miserable 
or pessimistic. There is no room for gloom and 
doom when you're a believer. If your heart is 
troubled by pessimism or doubts, repeat several times 
today's verse, especially the part, "Consider him 
who endured... so that you will not grow weary 
and lose heart." This is the secret to finding 
joy. Consider him. 
   Lord of Joy, I delight in your gladness 
today and I want to honor you by taking up my 
cross and joyfully following you. [Joni Eareckson 
Tada Daily Devotional: 

CONSIDER HIM: Who For The Joy Set Before Him 
He Endured The Cross. 

   When someone holds on to joy in spite of 
everything, I call that defiant joy. A person with 
defiant joy refuses to be squelched by negative 
voices or intimidated by overwhelming odds. In 
Jesus, we have the greatest example anyone could 
imagine. Todays Scripture says, For the joy set 
before him he endured the cross, scorning its 
shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne 
of God. 
   The joy born out of suffering is 
unflinching in the face of discouragement; it is 
unshakable when your pain screams at you to choose 
doubt and fear. Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit 
that is far more durable, rigorous, and rugged 
than most of us realize. So when you pick up your 
cross every day, do so without wavering. Because 
as you do, youll also be choosing joy. 
   Jesus, I am humbled"and in awe"to 
think You would willingly endure betrayal, the 
terrors of the cross, and the dark stain of all my 
sin. And somehow, You saw joy beyond it all. You 
knew that Your suffering would purchase my rescue 
from death and open the doors of eternal life for 
me. Teach me, Lord, to look beyond todays 
pain to see heaven on the horizon. [Joni 
Eareckson Tada Daily Devotional: 


   Matt Emmons slowly exhaled as he focused 
on the target more than fifty yards away. After 
shooting 129 shots in the three-position rifle final 
at the 2004 Summer Olympics, he sat in first 
place. Matt needed just one more decent shot to win 
gold. He locked in on the bulls-eye, pulled the 
trigger, and saw the shot strike just outside the 
center circle. The gold medal was his! The 
twenty-three-year-old looked at the scoreboard. Something was 
wrong. His score didn't show up. He saw the 
officials huddling. After a brief meeting, one of them 
walked over and said he'd hit the wrong target. 
Matt was competing in lane two, but the shot hit 
the target in lane three. By missing the final 
target, Matt received zero points and dropped from 
first to eighth place. 
   Matt had competed in shooting since he 
was fourteen. He knew the rules and was a great 
shot. He had grown up hunting with his family, and 
the three-position rifle competition allowed him 
to show his shooting skills lying down, 
kneeling, and standing up. Matt learned to first set 
his sights on the target number and then lower 
his gaze to the bulls-eye before firing. But on 
the most important shot in the Olympics, his aim 
was perfect but on the wrong target. 
   How could somebody that smart and skilled 
hit the wrong target? It seems impossible, 
right? Sadly, a lot of smart people live their 
lives aimed at the wrong target. Instead of 
focusing on God and hitting his target, they aim at a 
different target. Increasingly, people trust their 
feelings or an Internet search when it comes to 
spiritual beliefs. A CBS poll found nearly four out of 
ten people say the search for spirituality - no 
matter where it takes them - is more important than 
sticking with the traditions of the church. That's a 
dangerous thought. 
   Many church traditions are based on the 
Bible. And the Bible says to look to Jesus for 
guidance. Being sincere about your search for 
spiritual truth is important. But a lot of people are 
sincerely misguided. They may hit the target, but if 
it's the wrong target, it counts for nothing. 
Make sure you're aimed at the right target - 
Jesus Christ - as you make decisions about how to 
live your life. [Case For Christ For Kids by Les 


   Do not grow weary and lose heart. When 
you are dealing with difficulties that go on and 
on, it's easy to get so tired that you feel like 
giving up. Chronic problems can wear you out and 
wear you down. If you focus too much on these 
troubles, you're in danger of sliding into a black 
hole of self-pity or despair. 
   There are several kinds of weariness. 
Unrelieved physical tiredness makes you vulnerable to 
emotional exhaustion and spiritual fatigue - losing 
heart. However, I have equipped you to transcend 
your troubles by fixing your eyes on Me. I paid 
dearly for this provision by enduring the cross for 
you. Pondering My willingness to suffer so much 
can strengthen you to endure your own 
   Worshiping Me is a wonderful way to renew 
your strength in My Presence. When you take steps 
of faith by praising Me in the midst of 
difficulties, My glorious Light shines upon you. As you 
persevere in focusing on Me, you reflect My Glory to 
others, and you're transformed into My likeness with 
ever-increasing Glory. (Heb. 12:2, 3; 2Co. 5:7; 3:18) [Jesus 
Always by Sarah Young] 




1st of 28: Divine Dining: 
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine: 
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible: 
4th of 28: Cared For: 
5th of 28: Saved: 
6th of 28: You Can Change: 
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains: 
8th of 28 Our Holy Father: 
9th of 28 Gifts of Service: 
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit: 
11th of 28 The Law of God: 
12th of 28 The Sabbath: 
Live ongoing series in progress.


If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred