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
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
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
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
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]
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
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
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prayer Made Real: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc8VdMV26VE
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES AND SEMINARS
Restoring The Power by John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: http://www.bibleresearch.info/