So the Holy Spirit continues to deliver the message of endurance — Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…
Yesterday, we saw that endurance is a gift and we need to be asking God as the giver of gifts to give us endurance, and in doing so he enables us to fulfill his commands – like we see today to “run with endurance.” Note how we are to do this “Laying aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.” This is a vital clarification, we cannot run very fast and endure very long if we are carrying around weight (guilt?) and sin (idols of the heart?). We must put them down, but put them down by the power of what Jesus did on the cross. Speaking of Jesus, this passage indicates that Jesus is our model. No one has ever had to endure more than Jesus did on the cross – bearing the sin of the world and a brutal sacrificial death for us, to the glory of God. And in that…the Bible says that was JOY for Him to endure for us. That is a man on an unshakable mission. He is our model.
Why do we have to endure? Look at Hebrews 12:7 – “It is for discipline that you have to endure.” God disciplines us…trains us up in the way that we should go, bringing us to maturity.
Then the author of Hebrews launches in to a series of commands…I love it when the Bible does this…Heb 12:12-16
- [therefore…in light of all this…]
- Lift your drooping hands
- strengthen your weak knees
- make straight paths for your feet
- strive for peace with everyone, and holiness [BBW=sanctification]
- See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God [be diligent in pointing to salvation in Christ]
- no root of bitterness springs up [isn’t Christmas a good time to apologize and reconcile relationships?!]
- sexual immorality [sex before marriage/outside of marriage/outside of God’s design] = NO
Therefore [again with the therefore…] v28…
let us be grateful in receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship [service] with reverence and awe.