quinta-feira, 9 de maio de 2019

THE NARROW PATH TO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD - DAY 112

by Rev. Robert John Cericola, Carroll, OH - EUA  

Meditation 112

Looking Away to Jesus

Hebrews 12:1–3 (AMP) THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who, is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.  

The word “therefore”, at the beginning of verse one points back to the trials and tribulations the cloud of witnesses suffered as Christians. Some were beaten to death with clubs, others suffered mocking, scourging, and imprisonment. Some were stoned to death, others sawn asunder, and still others were cast out of society and forced to wander about in sheep skins and live in caves. All of these people suffered dearly but never gave up on Christ because they were focused on and strengthened by Jesus.

Verses one, two, and three present solid advice for those that are pursuing a relationship with Father God and Jesus His son. First strip off all sin and worldly entanglements and run with patient endurance (continue on the Narrow Path). Second, when things get difficult, look to Jesus to strengthen your faith. And third, think of Jesus and all that He suffered to keep your mind from growing weary and fainting.

Ending Thought
Pursuit of a relationship with Father and Jesus, is a life-long journey on the Narrow Path of obedience that demands patient endurance and focus, beyond our abilities. Thus, we must learn to draw our strength from Jesus along the way. 

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