Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eyes on the Prize

Bret and I often will read at night, our bibles often or sometimes another book or devotional. We will often find something that strikes a chord and read it out loud to each other. That has been happening a lot lately, the striking a chord part. I have this awesome bible that is the new testament only, New Living Translation version, "Traveler's Devotional Bible" It is full of great devotions through-out. I feel the need to share with you this....

"Eyes on the Prize"

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding it's shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne Hebrews(12:2).

In today's world of lax promiscuity and a credit-driven economy, almost no one remembers what delayed gratification is. Previous generations understood that many of the things one wants most in life cannot be had easily or instantly. Mature adults know that attaining anything worthwhile takes time, toil, perseverance, and sometimes even suffering.

The writer of Hebrews describes our spiritual pilgrimage as an endurance race, a race so wearying that many times we feel like giving up and quitting. The only way to make it, to keep running all he way to the end, is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who runs before us setting the pace. Not only does He demonstrate that it is possible to complete this race and win it, He encourages us along because He knows how we feel. In order to be crowned victor, Jesus not only had to endure the normal difficulties of the race, but He also had to endure suffering, abuse from competitors, and shame on His way to crossing the finish line. That's when He was honored.

The Christian life is not easy (nothing worthwhile is); we do not attain instant perfection (as much as we might like it). Instead, we are in a long distance race that we run only against ourselves, always with our eye on Jesus, always moving toward the finish line. As we meditate on what He did for us, we are strengthened to keep going.

I hope this devotional will help you with something in your life. I know I can personally relate to it in so many ways; our financial decisions, the changes with our church, my friendships. Things may not be easy now or have been in the past, but I feel like we have and are still going through an endurance race, but I also feel like we are beginning to get closer to that prize! How glorious that is! I really love this verse and devotional and could read it many times over and have it help me with what I am struggling with. Please keep your eyes on the prize, and if you don't know how to attain that feel free to ask.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing this devotional. It's always nice to have a reminder to persevere even when we want to give up. We're never alone. He is always, always with us. Thanks!