Daily Devotionals

Hall of Faith Week 12 Friday

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 for. 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 way they intend to move. This understanding is not only true when driving; it 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 we keep 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 during those times we need to decide if we will focus on Christ, or if we will focus on circumstances, people, or the struggles around us. 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.

Moving Toward Action

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.

Going Deeper

Hebrews 12:14-29 (NLT)

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.

You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”

No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.