Every year God gives me a passage or a verse as a theme. This year for the last week or so Hebrews 12:1-3 has been bubbling up in my spirit. Upon reading it I knew this was my theme for 2020.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”
Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT
Several things jumped out at me as I read. Some things to strip off and some things that will motivate me/us.
Things to strip off…
- Strip off every weight that slows us down – we all have things that slow us down of make us put our hands to the plow and look back (Luke 9:62). It might be bad habits, bad relationships or bad attitudes.
- Strip off the sin – all of us sin at times. 1 John 1:8 tells us that we are deceiving ourselves (and others) if we say we don’t. But the good news is the next verse tells us if we do confess it to God, he cleanses and purifies us. Then we ask for strength to stay pure.
Once we have stripped off the things that hold us back and slow us down, we can run with endurance.
When you think of a marathon runner they were light clothing and carry nothing. This helps them to run with endurance. They also need to pace themselves to last the whole journey.
Things to motivate me/us…
- The great cloud of witnesses. These are the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11. They have run and won their raises.
- Jesus as the author and perfector of our faith. He is always working on us and is never finished (Philippians 1:6). This gives me comfort knowing He loves me as I am, but doesn’t want me to stay this way.
- The suffering of Jesus. He left the glories of heaven to die on the cross for our sin. He moved heaven and earth for us and suffered greatly.
As I type I think of a hot air balloon. It cuts away the sandbags to rise high into the air. It needs to do this to allow the wind to take it where it needs to go. It is the same for us. If we cut away our “sandbags” we can let the Spirit take us to where we need to be.
Blessings for 2020,