Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Last week we started talking about running the race that is set before us. We began looking at things we can do to enable us to be more effective in running this race. Today’s topic is what we should have started with- Looking to Jesus. If we can learn to look to Him, we won’t even have to try to do the other things we talked about. If we are looking to Jesus, the weight of the world won’t have an effect on us. All we will see is that He is greater than anything we might go through. When we are looking to Jesus, sin will not be able to tempt us even a little. All we will see is His goodness and nothing else will have an appeal. When we look to Jesus, no matter how hard the race or how long the course, we will patiently endure because we know that we can do all things through Him. When we are constantly looking to Jesus the distractions of life won’t be able to take our eyes away from Him.
Colossians 2:6-7 says 6As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. 7Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving. When we are looking to Jesus we will become so rooted and grounded in Him that nothing can move us. We will be like the man in Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Jeremiah 17:7-8 also talks about this man 7[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. 8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and your heart firmly planted in His Word and your race will be easier to run.