Looking to Jesus (July)

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by Allison N.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
{Hebrews 12:1-2}

I love these verses, and I think they capture so well the goal of the Christian life. We have heard them so often however, that sometimes we glaze over them as something we’ve already heard, and is already familiar, and therefore can hold no new meaning to our lives. But I’d like you to read them again, this time out loud, and slowly.

We must lay aside every weight, everything that binds us to this earth. Wealth, power, reputation, television, computer, phones—anything that chains us to the ground on which we stand and prevents us from running towards Christ—this must be laid aside so that we can run to Jesus. Remember that this world is not our home, and we are only passing through.

Just like a traveler would not invest millions of dollars into a hotel room that he will only be staying in for a few nights before returning to his home, so we must not invest and tie ourselves to this world. We are but poor travelers, headed for the kingdom. Trophies and earthly rewards will pass away. Good health and a fit body will too pass away. We must invest in things that will not pass away—our relationship with the Lord and our investment in His kingdom.

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We must run with endurance the race that is set before us. My friends, I know this may seem like a long race, I know it seems like we are constantly falling, but keep running! Keep going and never give up. The world will try to pull you down, but keep running. “Toward what?” you ask. The next part of the verses reveal the answer.

Toward Jesus! When we run toward Him, keeping our eyes upon Him, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, He will give us the strength and endurance we need to run. When we look to Him, we can do it! Remember, as Peter was walking out on water towards Jesus, when he was looking at Jesus, he remained steadfast, and could actually walk on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off his destination, he started to sink. It is the same for us. As long as we look to Jesus Christ, we will be upheld, but the minute we take our eyes off the prize, we will begin to sink.

Moses took this concept to heart as well. He looked to Jesus. “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). He forsook Egypt—recognizing that it was only his temporary homeland. So must we embrace this idea and live with our real home in mind. He endured as seeing Him Who is invisible. His sights were always set on God. He was meditating on the Scriptures. He constantly communed with his Creator.

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This is what I challenge you to do today. Look to Jesus. Meditate on His greatness as outlined in the last part of this verse: “the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” How amazing is our God! How worthy of our praise and adoration! He has run the race, He has endured the cross, He has finished well! He will help us do the same.

There’s a song I love that says

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

The song is so simple, yet so full of meaning. This is my challenge for you today. Leave this world behind and turn your eyes upon our beautiful and glorious Savior, Jesus.

Allison is a 16-year-old daughter of the King.  Her aim in life is to be pleasing and honoring to Him.  She has a passion for God’s Word and has begun a ministry dedicated to encouraging others in its pursuit.

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