Hebrews 12:1-3 - THE RACE OF FAITH - RUNNING WITH JESUS.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (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. 3 Think of all the hostility
he endured from sinful people; then you wont
become weary and give up.
God wants you to be healthy in every area
of your life " mentally, emotionally,
spiritually, and physically. For mental health, you must
focus your mind on the right things.
1. Think about Jesus.
Youve heard the saying, You become
what you think about most. If you want to
become more like Jesus, you have to fill your
thoughts with him.
Hebrews 12:3 says, Think about
Jesus example. He held on while wicked people were
doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and
stop trying (NCV).
2. Think about others.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:4,
Dont just think about your own affairs, but be
interested in others, too, and in what they are
Do you realize how countercultural that
is? Our world teaches you to think about
yourself and nobody else. But Jesus was
countercultural, and when you think about him, youll more
naturally think of others.
3. Think about eternity.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and
no mind has imagined what God has prepared for
those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT).
When you start focusing on truths like that, all
of your problems seem inferior compared to the
glory, the joy, and the pleasure of the things
awaiting us in eternity.
Your mind is your greatest asset and also
the greatest battleground. Ask God to help you
make the choice every day to feed on Gods
Word, free your mind of destructive thoughts, and
fill your mind with Jesus, others, and eternity.
Then youll have won the battle. [Daily
Devotional by Rick Warren:
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re vs. 3]
Times to Say No
The most important word to remember for
your spiritual journey may be a surprising one:
Your faith journey is a long one. Too
many people start off well in their spiritual
journey but putter out before the end. God wants you
to go the distance.
Youve got a marathon ahead of you, and
you cant run the marathon with a barbell in
your hands. Often people quit their faith journey
early because everything theyre carrying wears
We need to de-clutter.
A cruise liner can get pretty fast in the
middle of the water. If you add a hundred
lifeboats to it, itll slow down.
Plug a battery into one lightbulb, and
itll go a long way. Plug it into 15, and it
drains quickly. Plug it into 100, and itll drain
even more quickly.
Thats what happens to us when we try
to do too much. We need to learn to say
no to some things that are good because they
keep us from doing our best.
Hebrews 12:1 says, Let us strip off
every weight that slows us down (NLT).
Weights arent bad. Theyre not
sinful. Theyre just unnecessary. It could be a
job, a relationship, or a hobby. Its something
that slows you down from what God wants from your
life. And its not worth it. [Daily Devotional
by Rick Warren:
Avoiding Excess Baggage
When I travel, I typically take way too
much stuff. Suitcases on wheels are great - until
you hit carpet or asphalt. So my philosophy is
that if I cant carry it, I shouldnt take
it. The weight slows me down.
This is true in the Christian life as
well. If youre running a race and someone is
hanging on to you, is that a productive relationship
for winning a race?
When God told Abraham to leave his
country and family, Abraham took along his nephew
Lot, who was like a spiritual dead weight. It
caused conflict with Abraham, and ultimately the
two had to part ways.
Like Abraham, sometimes we have
relationships that are hurting us in the race of life. So
periodically we have to take stock of our relationships
and ask ourselves, Is this a good
relationship for me? Is this person speeding me up or
slowing me down? Is this relationship building me
up, or is it tearing me down?
We need to run the race with godly people
who spur us on, not with ungodly people who slow
us down. So look for godly friends. And more
important, be a godly friend.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, Let us lay
aside every weight, and the sin which so easily
ensnares us (NKJV). Theres a distinction. Sin
is sin. But then there is the weight. And what
may be a weight for one person is not
necessarily a weight for another. You might say,
Look, that Christian is doing thus and so, and
theyre okay. Why cant I do it? Youre not
that person. Maybe it doesnt affect them in
the same way it affects you.
Is there someone or something that is
slowing you down? Lay aside the weight and the sin
that so easily hinders you. [By Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]
Taking Baby Steps
Its no accident that the Bible
routinely refers to the Christian life as a race. Just
like in a long-distance race, you must be patient
to grow as a Christian. The Bible says, Let
us run with patience the particular race that
God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1 TLB).
You wont finish this race in a week, a
month, or even a year - it will take your whole
life. Gods plan for making you into the person
he wants you to be requires a lifetime
You cant short-circuit that kind of
When you become a Christian, you start
growing quickly. Its like babies in the early
months - they grow enormously fast during that
first year. But you dont continue growing as
quickly the rest of your life.
Growth - both physical and spiritual -
slows down. Its stable and secure over a period
of time. God isnt in a hurry for you to
grow. You might be, but he isnt.
This is why you need to start with simple
steps toward growth. If you take one or two baby
steps every week, youll be much further down
the road of growth at the end of the year than
you would be otherwise.
Christian living isnt one big leap
across the Grand Canyon. Its a journey of baby
steps - one step at a time. [Daily Devotional by
Rick Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/]
The Strength to Endure
How easily Jesus could have said, You
know what? Forget this. No one here appreciates
me. Im not dying for these people. They
dont deserve it.
After all, think about what He had to
face. His own disciples effectively abandoned Him.
Judas Iscariot, His friend, betrayed Him. Then He
was beaten physically, with fists to His face.
His beard was ripped out. A crown of thorns was
pressed on His forehead. His back was ripped open
with Roman whips. He was jeered and laughed at
and spit on. And then He was nailed to a cross.
It was His love for us that kept Him
going. We read in Hebrews that because of the
joy awaiting him, he endured the cross,
disregarding its shame (12:2 NLT). What was the joy
awaiting Him? It was you. It was me. It was us. He
did it for us. He knew there was no other way
that we could be made right with the God that we
Verse 2 also tells us that Jesus is
the champion who initiates and perfects our
faith (NLT). God finishes what He starts. He will
complete the work in us.
You might say, Greg, I cant go on
Yes, you can. Get your eyes off yourself.
Look at Jesus. Think of what He did for you.
Think about how He went to the cross for you.
Hes the one who will give you the strength to
When you take your eyes off the Lord and
put them on people or on the church or on
circumstances, you will start to stumble. Get your eyes off
those things and look at Jesus. He will never fail
you. He will never let you down. He will keep you
running in the race of life. [By Greg Laurie from
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com re
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
Hebrews 12:1, 2: Want To Be Like Jesus?
Spend Time With Him:
Hebrews 12:1, 2: The Race of Faith is
Looking Unto Jesus!:
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW (Live