We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2
When teaching a student how to drive, one of the most important lessons is that they will ultimately move in the direction they are looking. When they shift their gaze to the left, they will move in that direction, and when they look to the right, they will move to the right. As a result, they must learn to look directly in the direction they intend to move. This understanding is not only true when driving but is also true in other areas of life, including the race Christ has called us to run in our faith. We will move in the direction we are focusing on.
Christ-followers are encouraged to run the race that God has set out before us in Hebrews 12. After this encouragement, we learn how to run the race that God has set before us: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (verse 2). It’s clear: running the race well means keeping our eyes on Jesus. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we remember why we are running the race He has called us to and to remember that Jesus Himself is the treasure we are running towards. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will stay the course He has set before us without drifting.
The good news about this teaching from Hebrews 12 is that we can decide where to focus our eyes and minds. It may be difficult at times, but we can decide if we will focus on Christ or the circumstances, people, or struggles around us, and where we focus our attention determines the direction we will go. So, what are you setting your focus on today? How is that focus impacting the direction that you are going? Do you need to shift your focus back to Christ today? It’s never too late to look to Him as we run our race of faith.
Our question today is: “Where are we focusing?” Are we focusing on Christ or things of the world? The answer to this question will reveal the direction in which we are headed. If we want to grow in our faith and become more like Him, we must focus on Him and the things of Him. Take some time to journal about your answer to this question. Acknowledge where your focus is. Do you need a shift in focus? If so, commit now to making a conscious decision each day to fix your eyes on Christ and the things of Him.
Hebrews 12:1-13 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
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