Tag Archive | Epistle to the Hebrews

Keep your eyes fixed as you run!

Hebrews 12:1,2 NIV Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Hebrews 12:1,2 NIV Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

As we follow Jesus we are all participants in a race. It is a race that requires us to  keep our eyes on the finish line. Our finish line is Jesus. He is to be our focus. As long as we look to the right or to the left we will get easily waylaid but if we keep our eyes on the lover of our soul we will grow stronger in grace and be able to complete the race  and hear the wonderful words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant!”

There are so many distractions along the way. Distractions that cause us to forget about the race and stop moving forward. These can come in many forms; dabbling in sin, busyness, rebellion, anger, bitterness but they all accomplish the same thing. They remove our eyes from the finish line.

As times moves on and the Lord’s return draws even closer we need to encourage one another to stay on course. To not allow anything to come between us and our relationship with Christ.

We need to take to heart Paul’s words in Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Anything that we allow to come between us and Jesus will slow us down and eventually may even take us out of the race entirely. If you have gone off course, humbly ask the Lord to forgive you. He will extend mercy to the humble!  Get back into reading the Word of God.  It is the map God uses to keep us on track. Get involved in a church where the Bible is preached and the Holy Spirit is moving and you will find yourself enjoying the benefit of others encouraging  you as you run the race alongside them.

No man/woman is an island..

In the garden of Eden, God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. It is the same today, we need one another. We have been created for fellowship. If we neglect spending time with others we can become lonely and bitter. The majority of us love to get together with family and or friends and spend time talking, laughing and just sharing life. It can be like a tonic that rejuvenates us!

As Christians it is just as important that we spend time with  fellow believers. God has equipped us all with different gifts and strengths that are made to be shared. We can gain so much from one another. When dark times come, it’s great to know there are other people not only praying on your behalf but available when you need an encouraging word. Then there are times when we may need some fine tuning in our thinking or actions and who better to receive it from than another believer who has your best interest at heart.

We are so fortunate to have a second family that is there to build us up in our faith, encourage us, correct us when we are going off the tracks and to share the amazing things God is doing in our lives.  No wonder the scripture says in Hebrews 10:25 NIV 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

If you’re not currently attending a church where you can use your strengths and  gifts and receive the benefit of the strengths and  gifts of others it’s time to find one.  God knows the need we have to give and receive encouragement and therefore warns us not to stop meeting together.  There are so many benefits that come from gathering together with fellow believers.  Here are just a few verses that demonstrate some of them…

Acts 15:32 NIV 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers.

Colossians 3:16 NIV 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

1 Peter 4:8-10 NIV Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 

For anyone that doesn’t have a Church family, I would encourage you to pray for direction in finding one.  It can be such a great blessing in your life, both in giving of yourself and in receiving from others!

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.~John Donne

A Reliable Hope

Most of us have things we are waiting on in our lives. A circumstance we want to see resolved. A heart change in a loved one. A health issue we are going through and trusting God for. If we have committed our circumstance to God and have put our trust in Him we can rest assured He will not only see us through it but that as we go  through the circumstance we will grow. We serve a God that hears our prayers and is faithful to His own. We don’t have to fear while we wait on our answer.  We can rest assured that He will never allow anything to come into our lives that we cannot bear in Him.  Hebrews 10:13 NIV 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

It isn’t blind faith that we have, it is real faith. The kind of faith a child has in a loving parent. They know that no matter what is going on around them, their parent will take care of them and do everything in their power to protect them. Our God is even more reliable than the best parent out there. We can even have joy as we go through our trials because  we know not only do we not go through them alone but that as it says in Romans 8:28 NIV 28  We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.

So when storms come, and they will come we have reason to hope. Not blind hope but real hope. We can rest and put our faith in Him and know that the one that loved us enough to send His son to die for us will not leave us helpless or hopeless. His word is His promise to us and His word is  full of hope.

Psalm 71:14 NIV 14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

Romans 15:13 NIV 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 31:24 NIV 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

The Poison Pill of Bitterness

I don’t think any one of us can go through life without being tempted to hang on to feelings of resentment and anger towards another. When I was younger I resented my Dad for being the ogre that he was during our childhood. He didn’t nurture he demanded.  He was very abusive towards my Mom and towards us kids.  Did it hurt? YES!   At the age of 10, my parents divorced.  For quite a few years I was both hurt and very angry about the whole situation.  Why did this happen to our family?

As a teenager I would often get upset and feel disappointment about the way things would turn out.  People would not always live up to my expectations.  NO surprise there as that would have been an impossible task.  Then when I married young and started to have a family I would often feel disappointed that we were having to struggle financially when others seemed to be doing very well.

There are many reasons or excuses that we can use to hold onto anger and bitterness.  The bottom line is not one of these excuses will help us deal with the poison that builds up in our hearts and minds when we do.  Bitterness is poison!  As long as we hold onto it and embrace it we will never move forward in our lives.  We will continually see everything and everyone through the tainted glasses of bitterness.  We in turn will poison those around us with our mouth and actions.

There is only ONE solution to bitterness and that is forgiveness.  Nothing else works!  As most of us know, seldom can we forgive in our own strength.  We keep resurrecting the memories of what has been done to us.  We must make a tangible effort to come before God and ask for forgiveness for carrying around this poison within us and ask Him to take it away.  It is at first, an act of will.  Feelings don’t have to be involved.  We do it because not only does Jesus say we must but also because He knows when we do it will free us!!!!

I love the quote, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die!”  This is so true.  Bitterness will keep us bound up in anger and hurt and until we release it to Jesus we will never move forward in ways God desires us to move.  Releasing it will bring FREEDOM!!

FREEDOM!

Heb.12:14,15″Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” 

Matt.6:14,15″For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

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