Saturday, November 27, 2010

Throwing off that which Hinders

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith... -Hebrews 12:1, 2a

Before a more modern era in the incarceration of criminals, there were methods used for keeping prisoners from trying to escape.  One of them was affixing to the prisoner a heavy steel ball attached about the ankle with a chain.  So heavy was the weight that the prisoner would have great difficulty running away.  If he attempted to do so he would be hindered by the heavy weight attached to his leg.  The Word of God challenges us to lay aside any weight that hinders us in our walk with Jesus Christ.  We are to be ever moving forward in terms of our spiritual growth and progress.  Anytime sin creeps into our lives the result is that we become ensnared and unable to move forward in our spiritual growth.  Like a heavy ball and chain, sin has the power to ensnare us and keep us from moving forward in our faith.

We are further reminded that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  Who are these witnesses?  These are the people of faith which the Bible outlines and refers to in Hebrews chapter 11.  Just as they overcome the world and all its trials and temptations through faith, we are called to do likewise.  The difference between us and them is that we are on the other side of Christ’s coming.  We have experienced the promised salvation which the prophets foretold.  We are the recipients of those promises and heirs to a kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Through faith in Christ we can, as the Scripture says, run the race with endurance.  The Lord empowers us to keep going and keep progressing when we might otherwise have given up.  Do not give up and do not surrender, but rather be encouraged by the power of the Holy Spirit which is available to all who put their faith in Christ.  Let us do as the Bible says and look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. 

When we are feeling down we can look to Jesus.  Whenever we are discouraged we can look to Jesus.  Anytime we grow tired and weary we can look to Jesus. Should we start to believe that our problems are too much to bear we can always look to Jesus.  What is holding you back?  Is it some sin, a wrong attitude, or an unforgiving spirit?  Resolve to give that weight over to the Lord and to carry it no longer.  

The troubled soul finds spiritual power, strength, and encouragement in the Lord.  Look to Him today.

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