Hebrew Chapter twelve, verse one through three says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
The title in the NIV is “God Disciplines His Sons.” Some might find the title alone a little frightening; thinking about the sandwich boards that read “sinners are going to hell” and the such. But, this discipline is not meant to punish us, but to mature us in everyway. It is done out of love to help us learn and grow in Christ.
We need to remember that there is a great witness around us. What is a witness? Someone who attests to something happening. But, when it comes to God there are more than just people who can witness to His existence. The wind, trees and life in general on this planet and in the universe attest to God in all His glory. It is helpful to take some time everyday and just look outside to admire all He has made and done.
Being surrounded by all this God has made, we should be willing to “throw off everything that hinders” us. What can hinder us? Well the obvious answer here is sin. Sin envelopes so many different things that it can easily become a hindrance to us and sometimes very quickly. Taking time to ask Christ to show us what we need to change and fix is key here.
We need forgiveness and help in changing and who better than our Maker. It is not only sin that can hinder us, but people too. Does this mean we should kick everyone out of our lives? Of course not, but if there is a particular person in your life that is hindering you from doing what God wants you to do, perhaps its time to re-evaluate your relationship with that person. Sit down and talk with them about how you feel. Let them understand that for you, a Christian, God comes first above all things.
When you have stripped the things in your life that hinder you it becomes easier to run “the race marked out for” you. It is tiring and can make you frustrated at times. But, it is a race. You may run it as a marathon at times and at others a sprint. Either way the goal is to keep on running. Keep on going where God is leading you. You can never lose when you’re obeying Him. When you become weary, just remember what some of the apostles went through with persecution and how there are people all over the world today who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ.
Think about what they’re doing to keep going. They must be fixing their “eyes on Jesus.” That is what we should be doing at all times as well. We should be talking to Him daily, reading His Word daily and doing everything (work and housework included) for Him daily. If not, then what is the purpose of it all? Nothing. Christ died for a reason. Don’t let it be in vain. Look at what God did through Christ. He took the cross, the worst death at that time, and made it into something beautiful by dying for us. If God can do that with a death sentence, just imagine what God can do for you if you let Him.