I have been taking time to read the New Testament closely and carefully in order to find what it means to truly follow Christ. I keep coming back to a particular verse that talks of Jesus being the “author and perfecter of faith;” who completed his task perfectly and has now sat down at the right hand of God.
If He is the one who has written out the path that a Christian walk should take, then He is our anchor point. We should be able to unite together, all Christian denominations, and proclaim what this is and what it should look like. He is the road map on our faith journey. All believers are to work out their faith with “fear and trembling.”
I keep coming back to the verse [Galatians 2:21, KJV] which asks, “why do you frustrate the grace of God?” The question I am posing for myself and you is, have we gotten off the course plotted for us by our master?
We all think that we can do a better job of making our own decisions without any guidance from the Holy Spirit, and those people that God has given us as shepherds along our way. All of us are lost sheep. We find this “lost sheep” syndrome in the first book of the Bible. Thinking that we do not need guidance did not turn out well for Satan, nor for Adam and Eve.
So if Jesus is the “road map,” then the following verses in Hebrews shows us exactly what course our lives should look like when following His map.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NASB) • Jesus, the Example
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
What are these 3 verses saying to us?
- Confront the sin in our lives! The world, the flesh, and the devil. Paul says to lay it aside. If it wasn’t possible he would not have said it. Have we really resisted the things we know are sin and are taking our eyes off of Jesus? Are we doing what needs done, or making excuses?
- We need to run! That involves action and motion. It’s going to be a tough run that is going to take patience, and a willingness to hang in there and to see it through. That’s why God gives us “iron and brass” shoes.
- Keep your eyes on Him; Jesus! Just like Peter and his failure at sea. When he kept his eyes on Christ he was fine. The world, flesh, and devil are going to come at you with all the powers of Hell in tow, but it you’ll fix your eyes on Christ, He says you will make it.
- Acceptance that you are going to have a cross to bear. Acceptance that you are going to be seen as a fool for believing and practicing your faith. Acceptance that you will be despised by the world for daring to believe in a morality laid out by God in a “dusty old book.” Acceptance that you may lose it all here on Earth, but gain an eternity of riches when you see the King.
- Jesus Christ went through what He did in order to redeem and save us from an eternity in Hell. He went through it so we would not grow “weary and lose heart.” That means He will supply you with the energy (“dunamis” in Greek, where we get the English word dynamite). He gives you that much power to make it. And He will pick you up and carry you, if need be, across the finish line of this important race.
Praise be to Jesus that we serve a God and savior that loves us that much! After suffering all the punishment and scorn we put Him through, because we are innately evil in our faith, he still comes back for us and will help us across to eternity. He will eventually nail that sin nature to the tree and it will be dead and gone and plague you no longer! That inspires me! It encourages me in my heart to keep going and to tell everyone the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If we can follow the “author” of our faith, we will be a lot better off negotiating the trials of life and become better servants for our master. This, in turn, should help us lead others to Christ.
Let us, then, keep reading and studying God’s word, and praying for this nation and its leaders. We are living in some strange times. But God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So take comfort in that fact.
Don’t give up & don’t quit!