“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, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The author of Hebrews encourages readers who know Jesus as Saviour to live for Christ, to “…run with patience the race that is set before us.” He talks about “…so great a cloud of witnesses.” He’s talking about the people of faith mentioned in Chapter 11 from Abel to the prophets. He talks of how they lived and died victoriously by faith in the Lord. These people are witnesses by their lives; as God gave them grace to live for Him, even in tough circumstances, He can also do the same for us.
This passage gives us four points about serving Christ. First, it says to “…lay aside every weight.” A weight is something that may not be a sin but can waste time and energy if you spend too much time on it. Do you spend a lot of time chatting on Facebook, surfing the internet, or watching TV? Is anything more meaningful than serving the Lord, sharing Christ with people, or reading His Word?
The author also says to lay aside “…the sin which doth so easily beset us.” That’s talking about things we know are sinful. I John 1:8 says, “If WE say that WE have no sin, WE deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in US” [capitals added]. Even saved people struggle with sin. That doesn’t mean that we may as well just enjoy it. No. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you struggle in a certain area of sin, find Bible verses that deal it. For example, if you’re tempted, with pornography or other things you shouldn’t see or hear, Psalm 101:3 is a great verse to think on: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” As you think on verses about a sin you struggle with, God uses His Word to convict your heart and help you cleanse it out of your life.
The author also says to “…run with patience the race that is set before us.” Receiving Jesus as Saviour is the best decision you’ll ever make, but living for the Lord isn’t always easy. Days will come when you don’t feel like going to church, reading your Bible, serving the Lord, or praying. You may not think it’s doing any good. Be patient. Don’t quit. Look for help in God’s Word. If you’re discouraged, tell the Lord exactly how you feel. He already knows anyway: “…pour out your heart before him” (Psalm 62:8).
Finally, be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Keep your focus on Jesus. He’s the One who died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. He’s the One you received as Saviour, who said, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). Don’t quit on Jesus because of a fallout with another believer. You’d trusted Jesus to save your soul. Trust Him also to guide you in life and into eternity: “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24).
Spend time often in His Word to get His counsel to guide you. Call on Him often in prayer. Obey Him. Tell others about Him. Doing these thing will help you keep your focus on Him. You won’t be perfect—neither were the people in Hebrews 11—but you’ll see, by God’s grace, how you can live joyfully for Him.
Have you ever been born again by receiving Jesus as your personal Saviour, trusting entirely in Him to forgive you your sins and get you to heaven? If you haven’t but want to know how to do that, please click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.
Brian Miller 10/11/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822