fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
When a young child is doing something, he is often very focused and does not notice other things going on around him. As a person gets older, many will begin to lose that focus.
It takes practice to continue to focus on one thing, while ignoring what is occurring all around. With as many things occurring all the time, people are constantly shifting their focus from one thing to another.
After listing many people who demonstrated faith in God, the author of Hebrews tells the people to fix their eyes upon Jesus, the beginner and perfecter of faith.
Just as the world loses focus on a regular basis, many believers will also lose focus. Some will lose focus of God and begin to focus upon the things of this world.
Others will stay focused upon God, but get lose their focus to different trends and movements of the church. They begin to put their trust in new programs, rather than God.
The believer who is focused upon Jesus will not be easily swayed or led down the wrong path. He will not be easily tempted to sin against God, because he will not be looking at the things of this world, but the eternal purpose of God for his life.
Staying focused requires one to continually study God’s word and hide it in his heart. It requires that he does what God’s word says, not just hear it. It requires one to stay in continual prayer with God, in both speaking and listening to God.
As you go through your days, the world will fight to gain your attention and focus. Problems will arise on a regular basis. Rather than allow fear and troubles suppress you, keep your focus upon Jesus. Recognize what Jesus went through for you and know that He will help you do the same.
When you are completely focused upon Jesus, the momentary and light troubles of this world will fade away. The temptation to sin against God will be overcome. Joy will arise in your heart as you know and do God’s will for your life.
Each day ask yourself what are you focused on? This world? Or Jesus? Life? Or death?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be focused upon Jesus; that you will know God’s will for your life; that God will strengthen you to endure the troubles of life; and that you will know the joy of God’s salvation.
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19
Laws are something that is bitter-sweet for most people. The majority of people like the laws, because it shows them what is right and what is wrong. It gives them a guideline by which they expect others to live.
At the same time, many people hate the laws, because it also can restrict them from what they can and cannot do. Laws bind people up more than releases them from bondage.
The author of Hebrews points out the the old law was worthless in that it could not make a person perfect. Since it was worthless and failing, a better hope was introduced to allow man to get close to God.
Most people in the church like to know what God’s laws are. It gives them guidance as to how to live their lives. They want a checklist of what to do or not to do, so that they can see where they are succeeding or not succeeding in following God.
The challenge comes that with the more one knows the laws of God, the more he realizes that he cannot fulfill every one of them in his own power. He is constantly battling with failure to obey God’s laws and thus looks bad (in his eyes) before God.
God knew that this would happen, so He sent Jesus to provide the way to Him. Attempting to follow the law would produce failure, so Jesus came to fulfill the law and provide the much needed salvation and freedom from sin.
Following Jesus will allow the believer to take his focus off of sin and put it upon God.
You are probably struggling with sin as most believers are. You sin, repent, and then sin again are frustrated with yourself. Instead of focusing on following God’s law, focus on following Jesus and the way He lived. Do what He did and is doing, so that you will not have time to sin.
Live in the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to strengthen and help you.
As you rely upon what Jesus did for you, you will be able to draw closer to God, and flee further from sin.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon God’s grace for your life; that you will focus your life on following Jesus; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that you will produce fruit in keeping with God’s commands.
May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 1 Thessalonians 3:13
In order for a person to live a good, long and healthy life, he must have a good heart. Having a good heart is achieved by eating and exercising properly.
One has to have the blood flow going through his body with power and strength to live a healthy life. Not doing these things will result in a poor heart, which in turn can cause an early death.
Paul prays that God would strengthen the hearts of the people, so that they will be blameless and holy in God’s presence.
The entire purpose of Jesus coming to the earth and dying upon the cross is to make people holy and blameless before God. It was to take a corrupt, selfish dead heart out of a person and give him a new, living and strong heart for God.
It is in the heart that the desires of a person rise up. Until Jesus works in a person, his heart is weak and falls to temptation to sin. A person’s desires are for selfishness and sin.
Just as with exercising physically will strengthen the heart, exercising one’s faith will also strengthen his heart. Getting on the treadmill of life and refusing to slow down and step into sin will strengthen the heart. Exercising the heart daily with studying God’s word and prayer will strengthen one’s heart and faith.
The strong heart will follow hard after God and refuse to go back to sin. It will be able to say no to the temptations that comes its way, keeping one’s self pure and blameless before God.
Each day you have to make a choice as to whether you will exercise or not. It is your choice to have a strong or weak heart and body. As a believer in Jesus, you must allow God to strengthen your heart to learn to follow after Him more and more.
Allow all of your desires to be the same desires as those of God, rather than for self and sin. God will use His word and time with you in prayer to strengthen your heart so that you will not sin against Him.
How strong is your heart?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to change your heart; that you will seek to do what God desires of you; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide you away from all sin; and that you will be pure and blameless before God in all that you say, think or do.