Fresh Legs for the Most Important Race

April 22, 2020

Hebrews 12:1-2

Today’s devotional provides us with a word of spiritual encouragement for faith-filled believers.  As we face a steep hill in our journey of faith, the author of Hebrews wants us to be revived by past examples of faithfulness, repent of sin, run with endurance and keep looking to our Great High Priest, Jesus!

“Therefore!”

This passage can stand alone in many respects, but it takes on weight and meaning as we think about its place in the Letter to the Hebrews.  One of the first things you notice as you read through Hebrews is that it uses the word “therefore” a lot – about five to six times in the first few chapters alone! The author is establishing an argument and then sharing his conclusions, which build into an important message.  

Simply by looking at the “Therefore” statements in chapters 2-6, we see a progression of how we need to remember the supremacy of Jesus as Lord and Savior.  We are to consider His identity as God’s son – a faithful apostle and high priest of our confession.  We should make certain we are in relationship with Jesus and then, having assurance of our faith, we should imitate those who inherited the promise of salvation.

The first seven chapters of Hebrews build into the statement found in 8:1, “We have such a high priest (Jesus), one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, who oversees a new covenant between God and man.”  This is good news.  We have a mediator of a new covenant who redeems us from our sin!  

But how do we respond in this “race” of life as we are knocked about by trials and wearied by our circumstances?

Be Encouraged and Run!

We are encouraged to hold fast to the faith we have in Jesus – “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  To illustrate the point, the author gives us the Faith Hall of Fame (Chapter 11), which is filled with examples of those who were forced to move in faith and not by sight. Abraham, Moses, and many others.  These individuals had to run their race with changing circumstances, unforeseen challenges, and lots of conflict.   They had to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when they didn’t feel like it.

Our scripture for today points us back to these witnesses and then forward to the steps we can take so that we might follow their example.  We are to:

1.  Repent of every sin and release anything that is holding us back.  The author tells us to “lay aside every weight and the sin which clings so closely.”  Sometimes those sins are so close we don’t even see them!  A surprise blessing of this season of change is that it gives us a fresh perspective on ourselves, our thought patterns and our behaviors.  Have you recognized sin in your life recently that you weren’t aware of before?  Now is the time to repent of it.   Confess it. Rebuke it in the name of Jesus.  

2.  Run. That’s it.  Get moving or keep on going.  We don’t know when this stage of the race will end, so set your pace and stick to it.  God has placed unique opportunities in your life, so don’t waste time comparing your race to others.  What is in front of you that you are equipped and positioned to do?  That’s your race.

3.  While you run, look to Jesus.  Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the one who makes us clean by his sacrifice.  The one who endured the cross and despised the shame because of the joy that was set before him.  He now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for you and for me. Jesus did this because he knew the fruit that would come through his obedience.  Multitudes of sons and daughters would be brought into right relationship with God the Father.   That’s you and me.  

This is a season for good spiritual self-care. We need to take the time for spiritual nourishment so that we can run our race with endurance.  Here are your marching orders:  be encouraged by the communion of saints, repent and confess the sins that drag you down and keep looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.  

May we run well today by the grace of God and to His glory.  

Reflection and Application

Sin separates us from God.  What sin is in your life that the Holy Spirit is leading you need to confess?  After confessing, read Hebrews 10:19-22.  Praise God for the ability to draw near to Him.  

Part of running the race set before us is to “Stir up one another to love and good works, keep meeting together and encourage one another” (Hebrews 10: 24-25).  

-How might you invest time this coming week to meet with others in an appropriate way, provide encouragement and stir them up to love and good works?

-Is there a member of your personal “Faith Hall of Fame” that you might bless with a letter of thanks?

Look to Jesus.  Hebrews 10:23 tells us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”  Find a copy of the Apostles Creed and read it out loud.  Then in accordance with Hebrews 12:28, “be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…”  Conclude your time by singing a song of worship that is meaningful to you.

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About The Author

Dan Wendell

Dan joined the Cornerstone team in November 2018 as the Pastor of Missions. His focus is on empowering the church family to step beyond the boundaries of CCLB to declare the Good News, so that the Body of Christ might be established where it would not otherwise occur. In addition, Dan provides oversight for Cornerstone’s Care ministries.