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We are living in a time when we are hearing a lot about essential and non-essential jobs.  While what constitutes such jobs may be debated, what should not be debated is this – that we as believers should have our eyes fixed on Jesus and allow non essential issues to drop away from our lives. This will not only be good for us individually but for the body of Christ globally.

To quote the writer of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit says:

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Hebrews 12:1-


There’s a lot in these few verses to meditate upon. I would like to contemplate a few things here.  In the first verse we learn that we have our own race to run, and that race is an endurance race.  To be successful, we must cling to what is essential and let sin and anything that’s non essential – that’s not leading us to God’s best for our lives – fall away.


The next exhortation includes what is essential- for us to fix our eyes on Jesus. To look at Him and to Him; to think about Him, how He lived His life, how He cared about people. How He did all things to please the Father. How He daily denied Himself and thought of others as better than Himself, and to consider how the crowning work of His life was paying the ultimate price of dying for our sins, in our place.


Why did He do this? The Holy Spirit tells us He was able to endure the cross and the shame because of the joy set before Him. Yes, that joy did include us, but the complete fulfillment of His joy was to go back to the Father, where He had been before time began. The way back was through the cross. The joy of being with the Father was His motivation.  He lived to please the Father and His joy was going to be fulfilled in this reunion.


The last sock in the shoulder for me is seen in v 3,4. Lest, in the midst of our trials and temptations we become discouraged – think about Jesus, who resisted temptation until he sweat great drops of blood. I question- how quickly do I lay down to the tempter’s lies? Our Lord resisted.  He was totally committed to us and to the work of redemption; He did not succumb to the fleshly appetites and the temptation of the enemy.


May we all be encouraged by Christ, the One who sanctifies us.  Let us not grow weary in this time, but rather look to Him and ask Him for His next marching orders, no matter how small they may appear, and allow the non-essentials to drop away.


For us to have real joy, joy that’s not of this world, we must live our lives and run our race like He would want us to do. Our finish line is seeing the Father one day in front of us and hear our Lord say- “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”  Matthew 25:21   


He truly loves us; He has proved it once and for all.  He desires to use us – yes you. Let us follow Him – not looking around ourselves, but looking to Him –  and do the next right thing until He calls us home to be with Him.


Love you all, your brother- Tim R.


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