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.
Not only are we to look to Jesus, but we are to recognize that He is the Leader and the Source of our faith- this also says He gave the first incentive for our belief. He is the reason we are His followers, but sometimes I think we might get so caught up in living our lives, that we forget the One who gave us true life to begin with. It’s good to reflect on why we follow God. How many of us truly serve God because of our relationship with Him, because we love Him so much? Do you remember when you first got saved? Or when you first decided on your own to be a Christian? I grew up in a home where serving God wasn’t optional. Then for a period of my life I rebelled and did what I wanted to do. After a few years of that I decided that things were definitely better when I did them God’s way and rededicated my life to Him. What joy I still find in daily surrendering my life to Him! When I get weary in the well-doing I look back to why I do well in the first place. The love and peace and joy I found in Jesus is what keeps me running my race.
In Revelations 2:2-5 it says 2I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars. 3I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary. 4But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. 5Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent. These verses make you think. Here God is saying to the church, “I know you did what you were supposed to do, however you stopped loving me the way you did at first.” The good news though, is that He gives an opportunity to come back to Him, to love Him like you did at first, to serve Him like you did in the beginning. We simply have to repent and make the adjustment within our own hearts.