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Bible Pathways 12/15/2001

December 15

Read Hebrews 11 -- 13

The history of the people of God confirms that many endured adverse circumstances and suffering, yet remained faithful and fulfilled His will. We are given a review of some of them, including Abraham. . . . Jacob. . . . Joseph. . . . and by faith Moses. . . . Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (Hebrews 11:17-26). The Old Testament men and women listed lived godly lives. This points out how much more God has provided us to live a victorious life. The Messiah-Savior has made available the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the full knowledge of the will of God through His written Word.

Surely, we too can lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and . . . run with patience the race that is set before us (12:1). The Christian life demands self-denial, discipline, and wholehearted effort, in contrast to the self-indulgence practiced by the world.

The race of which Paul writes is a life of faithfulness and obedience to the Word of God. The runner who wins the race of life is looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith (12:2), who will give him a crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

Like Lot's wife, some losers look back, longing for physical enjoyments that crowd out spiritual service and worship. Other losers feel overwhelmed by difficulties, become discouraged, and drop out. But the one who wins the victor's Crown of Life will answer the call of the Holy Spirit to lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. The weights could even be admirable activities, achievements, possessions, friends, or anything which requires us to take time, strength, and resources away from our opportunities to serve the Lord. All may be quite harmless in themselves, but they may cause us to lose the race when they occupy too much of our attention.

This is not an excuse to avoid our daily responsibilities on the job, in our homes, and in loving care of our families. These are never a hindrance to spiritual progress. Some foolishly assume that they could make much more spiritual progress if they were only free from their husband or wife, or from their job, or from other responsibilities that they would like to shirk. This is a serious mistake and can become a murmuring against the arrangement of God over the affairs of our lives.

Each of us must decide for himself, by a prayerful searching of the Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit, if there are hindrances to our spiritual life that need to be eliminated.

Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. . . . Looking diligently lest anyone fail (fall short of) the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled (Hebrews 12:1-15).

Cross References:

For Hebrews 11:18: See Genesis 21:12. Hebrews 12:5-6: See Proverbs 3:11-12. Hebrews 12:12: See Isaiah 35:3. Hebrews 12:26: See Haggai 2:6. Hebrews 13:5: See Joshua 1:5. Hebrews 13:6: See Psalms 118:6.

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Rep. Wes Watkins (OK) · Pray for Michael Adams and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WOOW-AM, Greenville NC · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast sponsored by Gordon and Brenda Hyslop · Country: Latvia (3 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Latvian and Russian · Religious freedom · 20% Protestant; 20% Roman Catholic; 15% Russian Orthodox; 1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Seek God in prayer continually and depend on His strength (1 Chronicles 16:11).

Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 3:3

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