My Commitment For 2014: Hebrews 12:1-2
1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
As we come to a close of our Proverbs series, let me just say it has been a great blessing, and privilege, to share the Word of the Lord with you. Thank you so much for your faithfulness in following the series.
Our next devotional series “Reflections of His Grace” will begin tomorrow. This series is will a verse by verse daily devotional from the book of Ephesians. We will normally cover two or three verses per devotion. I would count it a great blessing from the Lord if you would join me in this series of devotions.
But for today, as we begin the New Year, I would like to share with you the text the Lord has laid on my heart as my own personal commitment for this coming year… Hebrews 12:1-2.
The motivation for the commitment:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
What are the “witnesses” being described here? It is those whose faithful service to the Lord has been recorded in the Scriptures, especially those mentioned in the preceding chapter (Hebrews 11).
Folks, when we read of the faithfulness of David, Moses, Abraham and the others, we need to see that their faithfulness originated in the gracious intervention of the Lord in their lives. They were faithful not because of themselves, but because of their Lord. This gives us hope that, in spite of our many faults and hindrances, we too can be faithful servants of His.
The substance of the commitment:
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
It is because of the examples set by these great Biblical characters of faith, that we can face our shortcomings, past sins, and difficult circumstances of life, and recognize that our Lord’s grace and greatness will overshadow these hindrances and enable us to remain faithful to Him. Notice how these hindrances to our faithfulness are described as:
1. weights – anything in our lives that will “drag us down” and slow our service for Him. This is speaking of those things that are not sinful, in and of ourselves, but seek to produce fruits of unfaithfulness to Him. These could include: physical infirmities, ungodly acquaintances, or other circumstances in life.
2. sin – anything in our lives that “stands firmly opposed” to His will and His calling for us. This is speaking of the different thoughts, desires, motives and actions that are sinful in nature. This would include any of a number of sins including both sins of omission or commission.
Note the remedies for these are two-fold:
First, to lay aside the hindrances -
The Greek term for “lay aside” has three aspects to it”:
a. It means to “take it off” (like clothing)
b. then to “cast it down”
c. and finally to “walk away from it”
This three-fold description speaks for itself. I can add nothing to the meaning of these instructions.
Secondly, to run with patience the God-given course for our lives –
the Greek term for patience means “to bear up under a burden”. It describes a donkey that allows their owner to continue to pile a load upon its back without kicking it off or sitting down and refusing to bear it.
Folks, this should be our great desire this coming year… to take off our sins and hindrances, throw them down, and proceed without them; then to continue on the God-given course for our lives. We can do this by patiently accepting our ministry and the responsibilities and opposition that go with it.
The focus of the commitment:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
How can we fulfill the substance of our commitment to Christ? By keeping our focus on our Lord and all He has done for us. We are to keep our eyes fixed upon and closely examine Jesus. When we examine Him here is what we will find:
1. His person
He is the author and finisher of our faith – in other words, He is the One that initiated and completed our salvation. We owe Him our all because He has saved us from our sins and their eternal results. How did He accomplish our salvation for us?
2. His work on our behalf
who for the joy that was set before him – He joyfully, willingly gave His all for us, He did when He:
endured the cross, - He patiently endured the cross (the word for “endured” is the same Greek word that we saw in vs 1 translated “patience”. In other words, we are to “endure” in faithful service because He “endured” the cross for us.
despising the shame, - He not only suffered and died on the cross but He endured the shame associated with it. He was the sinless One who was looked upon and treated as if He was a rotten filthy sinner such as us.
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As we continue to examine Him, we also see His current position as Lord over all, exalted to God’s right hand as His faithful Son who did all to please His heavenly Father.
Folks, this is the commitment the Lord has placed upon my heart… to put off and leave behind anything in my life that may hinder my service to Him so that I may be faithful to the ministry He has given to me. My only hope to accomplish this seemingly impossible task is His marvelous grace.
As he sees fit, my heart’s desire is to keep my eyes upon Him and all He has done for me as the source of my motivation to serve Him in a way that brings honor and glory to Him and Him alone.
May we all seek to serve Him in greater ways this New Year. Lord bless you.
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