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
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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
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