Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

Are you future focused? I've recently been looking over Hebrews 12:1-2 to remind myself to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. The writer of Hebrews starts chapter 12 with the word: "Therefore." This is a linking word that takes us back to what the author was previously talking about before the "Therefore." The previous chapter is the "Hall of Faith" chapter in the Bible. We read of the faith of the great saints of old. It really is a great and encouraging chapter but as I looked back over I realized they were all future focused. They were fixing their eyes on the "hope of and assurance of things not seen." They all had great faith because their eyes were fixed on the great God of the universe.

Listen to the great promises of Hebrews 11:
1. Without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (6).
2. [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with foundations who architect and builder is God (10).
3. They were longing for a better country, a heavenly one for God has prepared a city for them (16).
4. [Moses] was looking ahead to the reward (26)
5. They might rise again to a better life (35)
6. Of whom the world was not worthy (38)

The "cloud of witnesses" talked about at the beginning of chapter 12 is going back to the saints who have passed on before us. We can be encouraged and strengthen that they made it to the end. These were commended for their faith. Their faith was strengthened through keeping their eyes on the prize which is eternity with God.

May we take the time to read the stories of these heroes of the faith. May we be encouraged and strengthened by their faith. Most importantly may we fix our eyes of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He is the one who joyfully went to the cross, despising the shame, so that we might spend eternity with him by grace alone through faith alone. Where are your eyes fixed? Keep them future focused.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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