Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Looking to Jesus

December 23: Hebrews 11-13

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

Looking to Jesus

No reading or study of the book of Hebrews would be complete without going through the 11th chapter of Hebrews, known as the Faith Chapter. On my website, Devotional Reflections from the Bible, I have devoted an entire section on The Lonely Road of Faith, which is a series of devotions from Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 12, referring back to the Christians mentioned in Hebrews 11, encourages us to lay aside every weight, or sin that so easily besets us, and looking to Jesus, run with endurance the race that God has set before us. Who is this Jesus? Is He just a baby in a manger?

2 Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

In this Christmas season, do not stop at the manger! This Jesus is the founder of our faith, and the perfecter (or finisher) of our faith. Being driven by the joy set before Him, He endured the cross and shame, and provided salvation for us so that we, too, may enjoy the glories of Heaven for eternity. There is no manger without a cross, there is no cross without a resurrection, and and there is no resurrection without the hope and joy of eternal life given to us by Jesus Christ our Lord.

With that in mind, read again the beautiful doxology given to us in Hebrews 13:20-21.

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

May you find yourself, this Christmas season, looking to Jesus!

God Bless You,
Linda

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