Hebrews 12:1, 2 - Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus.

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.  


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] 


   I'm always trying a new fitness gadget or 
changing my exercise routine to lose weight and 
rebuild my muscles. My latest workout plan includes 
a hula hoop. Before that, I bought a pair of 
professionally fitted running shoes. The first few weeks of 
exercising are always exhilarating, but, before long, I 
run out of steam to keep it up. I quickly forget 
about what motivated me in the first place. I take 
my eyes off the prize, my goal, and lose 
   It's natural to want to give up when I'm 
tired, bored with my gadgets, not seeing results 
from routines, or just a little too comfortable 
carrying around that extra weight. When I get 
discouraged, I picture Jesus facing me, running backward, 
taking two fingers to point to His eyes and then 
back to mine, signaling me to keep my eyes on Him 
while I run. He knows where the terrain gets 
tougher. He knows when I'll need an extra boost of 
energy to go uphill. He knows when I need to catch 
my breath, take a sip of water, or slow down 
the pace. He's running the race with me and 
gives me grace to run at my own pace. 
   With Him, I don't lose my focus. Jesus 
helps me exercise my motivation by keeping my eyes 
on the ultimate prize - Him. Ericka Loynes 
   Faith Step: Whatever race you're trying 
to finish, whether you're running a marathon, 
writing a book, raising children, performing 
optimally on the job, or just getting out of bed each 
day, imagine Jesus is right there with you, 
cheering you on to the finish line. [Mornings With 
Jesus 2022 Devotional by Guideposts and 


Forward Focus
   In the ancient Olympic Games, they 
didnt give out gold, silver, and bronze medals 
like they do with the winners today. Rather, they 
would crown their victors with laurel leaves. 
   So if you were running a race and nearing 
the end, you could see the emperor standing 
there with a crown of laurel leaves that he was 
waiting to place on the winners head. 
   I remember when I was in track and field 
in high school. I hated to go to practice, but 
if there was a pretty girl who happened to be 
watching, it always helped me run faster. 
   In the race of life, however, we have a 
better motive. Jesus himself is watching us. The 
writer of Hebrews tells us, Let us run with 
endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto 
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who 
for the joy that was set before Him endured the 
cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the 
right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2 
   The literal meaning of looking unto 
Jesus is turning your eyes away from other things 
and fixing them on Him. In fact, if youre 
really focused on something, then everything else 
becomes somewhat blurry in comparison. 
   The same is true when youre using a 
camera. You focus on your subject and get it dialed 
in, and that obscures other things. You blur out 
other elements so the subject stands out. 
   Thats what looking to Jesus means. 
Its putting Him first and filling your mind with 
the Word of God. That can help you get through 
whatever hardship or difficulty youre going 
   We need to look to Jesus, because Hes 
always been looking out for us. We need to live for 
Him, because He died for us. [Greg Laurie from 
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com]  

Let Nothing Hold You Back
   Ive read that a successful Olympic 
athlete will work out an average of four hours a 
day, 310 days a year for six years to prepare for 
competition. Olympic athletes have to be disciplined, 
because theyre competing for the gold. 
   On more than one occasion, the Bible uses 
the analogy of running a race. For the 
Christian, the race of life is knowing God and having a 
relationship with Him. But it isnt enough just to run 
the race. We have to finish the race weve 
begun, and that takes discipline. 
   I know the trend today, especially among 
younger people, is to say that we dont really 
have winners or losers. You get a participation 
trophy for just showing up. But that isnt real 
life. We need to understand that in the race of 
life, there are winners and losers. 
   God wants us to win the race that were 
running right now. The Bible tells us, 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 (Hebrews 
12:1 NLT). 
   We dont want anything to hold us back. 
There are things that help us run faster, and 
there are things that stop us from making 
progress. But obeying the Lord isnt a duty; it 
should be a delight. 
   Ive met runners who enjoy running. 
Sometimes after they go for a run, theyll say, 
That was a great run! Ive never had a great 
run, by the way. Im always looking forward to 
when it ends. 
   But if youre walking with the Lord, if 
youre running your race for Him, then youll 
discover theres joy in it. So run to win. [Greg 
Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 


   I'm an avid jogger. Most days, I run 
three to five miles. Running is vital to managing 
middle-aged spread, my mental health, and even my 
relationship with Jesus. I consider my morning jog to be 
my meditation, because my mind is quiet enough 
to hear from Jesus. I get so much inspiration 
while running that I stop often to record little 
notes for myself. 
   Running is a mental game. Some say that 
if you can run a 10 K, you can run a full 
marathon. I'm not so sure about that, but I am sure 
that my mind plays a prominent role in how far, 
fast, and happily I run. If I allow myself to 
start thinking about how much more I have to go, 
how hot or cold it is, or what I want to do 
later, I'm doomed. 
   The words in Hebrews 12:1 encourage me to 
cast off anything that hinders me and to 
persevere to the very end of the race of faith. This 
requires mental and physical discipline - and through 
that, along with unwavering focus on Jesus who's 
cheering me on, I can finish the race. Isabella 
   Faith Step: What is hindering you in your 
race of faith? Ask Jesus to grant you insight and 
courage to cast it off, so you can run unhindered 
the race set before you! [Mornings With Jesus 
2022 Devotional by Guideposts and Zondervan] 


Think of one thing in your life that 
displeases God. Whatever that is, it's undermining your 
ability to keep yourself in His holy presence. Now, 
imagine the freedom you will experience if you yield 
to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and begin 
to obey Christ in that area of your life. The 
more time spent in His presence, the more 
familiar we become with Him, and the less likely we 
are to do things that displease Him. [The 
Practice of the Presence of God: 40 Day Devotional by 
Brother Lawrence/Alan Vermilye] 


Hebrews 12:1-3 - THE RACE OF FAITH - RUNNING 


Hebrews 12:3 - So keep your mind on Jesus 
Then you won't get discouraged and give up.