Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy 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 ESV
2016 is a new year full of opportunities. As Christ-followers, we are called to go and make disciples, and share the good news of Christ. I have to admit that when I read this verse, I was convicted of the goals I was creating for the New Year.
What was I willing to risk for Jesus? What was I willing to do for Him? What race was I running? Unfortunately, many of my goals were centered on me and my plans, not on what God may have for me to do.
This verse gives me three reminders for the New Year:
- lay aside every encumbrance and sin which easily entangles me,
- run with endurance the race set before me, and
- fix my eyes on Jesus.
I know how easily my sin can distract me from honoring, trusting, and obeying God in all things. Sin wears me down and keeps me from walking the path set before me. When obstacles or the culture become overwhelming, it can keep me from doing the work that God has already prepared in advance for me to do.
I will need endurance to run the race set before me. The only way I can endure is to stay in the Word of God every day and to be nourished by it. Just like I exercise to keep my body strong, I also need to keep my heart, soul and mind strong and guarded with truth.
I must fix my eyes on Jesus each and every day.
He is the true author and perfecter of my faith. When I focus on me, and run a race for myself, I don’t see the needs around me. There are so many people in my world who need to hear the truth: the truth that Jesus came to deliver them from sin, to heal their broken hearts, and to give them a new life in Him.
My prayer for you is to fix your eyes on Jesus this New Year, and be open to do the work He set before you. It may not be easy or convenient, often the opposite, but we serve a God who says, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you.” (Deuteronomy. 31:6)
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Action Item |
What is keeping you from running the race set before you?
Dear Lord, in this New Year, may my eyes be open to see You, and to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Give me boldness and courage to share the Gospel and to not grow weary. Amen
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