Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Keep the Faith - February 3, 2010

Hebrews 12:1-3 (New Century Version)1 We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. 2 Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne. 3 Think about Jesus' example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.

Have you ever had those days when everything that could go wrong did? Have you ever tried to help someone out and do the right thing, only for it to become more trouble than it was worth? Have you ever tried to really seek God's direction in a difficult task or circumstance, only to come up short? We all have struggles in this life and it gets even harder if we are trying to follow Christ and do what God want us to. Many times our faith in what we believe gets tested to the point, where we are tempted to give up.

In the Book of Hebrews, the author was addressing primarily an audience of Jewish converts to Christianity. He uses the Old Testament(The Tanakh) as his foundational text, to instruct them about Christ's superiority over the old sacrificial system, which they had followed as the means to follow God. In the 11th Chapter, he carries the reader through a litany of Old Testament heroes of the Faith, that underwent tremendous persecution while looking forward to the coming Savior. He shores up their new found faith by holding up the example of their faith, and urges them to not turn back to their old ways and to those who still followed a hopeless system.

The author exhorts us to look to the One, who was the basis and reason for our faith, to help us in our struggle to complete what is ahead of us. He holds up the example of Jesus's struggle on our behalf to give us encouragement to never give up. When we are faced with the weighty things of this world, and the opposition that we face in all things, remember to look to Jesus who went ahead of us. He has been through it all, and he stands ready to help us across the finish line.

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