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Friday, July 27, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up. We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-3, God’s Word)
Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the “Faith Hall of Fame”. It provides a cast of characters that walked by faith and endured incredible challenges and disappointments, despite never receiving the full measure of reward they were expecting.
How did they do it? How did they overcome?
They kept their eyes on the prize. Their faith was empowered by an unwavering hope.
These first three verses of Hebrews 12 continue that theme. For Christians, keeping the faith in tough times happens by focusing on Jesus. Not only is he the “source and goal of our faith”—he modeled the very same focus in His life. When going through the agony of His death, “he saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured.”
In addition to a call to focus in these verses, there is also the command to get rid of the distractions that take our attention from what matters most. We live in a culture that is filled with distractions. Many of us have lost sight of what really matters chasing after things that are meaningless at best and destructive at worst.
What a great paradigm for walking in faith. But the twin commands to get rid of distractions and stay focused on what matters are great for almost every area of life, from business success in tough times to family unity when there are areas of disagreement.
What is slowing you down? What do you need to get rid of? What do you need to focus on? It will make all the difference in your life, no matter what you are enduring right now.
Mark Gilroy is author of the critically acclaimed novel Cuts Like a Knife. A 30-year veteran of the publishing industry, he has served as publisher and executive vice president at several companies and currently runs a company that services retailers, publishers, ministries, and other organizations in the industry.