“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” (Hebrews 12:1–3 MSG)
Thoughts for Today
The Christian life is a race much like a marathon. It is a long race with mountains and valleys, but God is always with us. We must never give up. Today’s scripture reminds us that Jesus is our example. He never lost sight of where he was headed. And he kept going no matter what came against him along the way—cross, shame, betrayal. He never gave up.
Jesus confronted obstacles to fulfilling what God had sent him to earth to accomplish. But he faced every one of them and kept on going. No matter how many obstacles we face that could hinder us from making right choices, we need to keep going, trusting Jesus to help us overcome.
Don’t you love the last two sentences in today’s scripture? “When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Consider this …
As you place your faith in Jesus, he will help you overcome the challenges and obstacles you are facing. Here are just of few of the myriad ways he helps us:
- He places people in our life who care enough for us to hold us accountable for our actions.
- His Holy Spirit guides us away from destructive thoughts.
- He always provides a way of escape.
- Keep your eyes on Jesus. Remember how he overcame horrendous obstacles—and now he is seated beside his Father.
Follow his example. Don’t give up! Don’t stop! Let him help you. Only then can you finish the race. Only then can you be the person he has designed you to be. Only then can you accomplish his purpose for your journey.
“Strip down, start running—and never quit!”
Father, help me run this race of life and never quit. Help me become the person you want me to be. Help me accomplish whatever you are calling me to do. Help me follow Jesus’ example and never give up. In his name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Stepping into Freedom: A Christ-Centered Twelve-Step Program by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This twelve-step program is suggested for use in support groups, recovery groups and home groups. It offers help for anyone struggling with a life-controlling problem like drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual addiction, gambling or workaholism. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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