“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and 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 greatest principles of life are generally very simple. They require effort, but they generally are simple. Today’s verse provides an example. The writer of Hebrews likens the Christian life to an endurance race, and that to run well we need to free ourselves from any and every entanglement that would hinder our running, and to run with endurance the race that is before us.
He then writes, “looking unto Jesus...” The statement “looking unto Jesus” provides the key to running well. The principal is simple, which is to fix our eyes on Jesus, and to maintain our focus on Him. The practice however, requires intentional focus.
How do we keep our eyes on Him? There are no shortcuts. Salvation is free, but spiritual growth is costly. Staying focused on Jesus requires great discipline and commitment. For example, Acts 2:42 describes things the early church devoted themselves to: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
The New Testament church devoted themselves to Bible study, fellowship, worship, and prayer. These four activities require diligent effort and discipline. They are uniquely designed to assist us in maintaining our focus on Jesus, which is the key to running well, and finishing strong! May we learn and develop the dedication the early church had to these fundamental disciplines, and to take full advantage of their benefit… all to His glory…Amen!
Question: Would you say you are running well?
Challenge: Discipline yourself to “fix your eyes on Jesus!”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for all that you have provided for us, to help us keep our eyes on Jesus!
James Fullan, Chapel Leader -- Clinton LumberKings