Living Free Every Day®
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 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 its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up." Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Many of our moments are not perfect. We must remember the race God has set before us is a lifetime process. We will have ugly moments. We will experience failures. We will suffer hardships. But we must not give up! This scripture clearly tells us how to keep going: We must keep our eyes on Jesus.
We must remember to view perfectionism from God's perspective, not our own. Love does not demand its own way. We need to seek constantly to grow in godly character--not just in "being right." Remember this description of godly perfection--it seems hard, but makes life good:
I choose to focus on loving what is right and good about myself, others, and life rather than dwelling on what I view as wrong.
Consider this ...
We might have little patience in dealing with people. In today's verses, we are encouraged by a "huge crowd of witnesses" to "run with endurance the race God has set before us"--God's agenda, not ours.
Jesus is perfect, and yet because of His love for us, He endured torment we cannot even imagine. He didn't give up.
You'll have days you blow it. You'll have times a relationship seems impossible. Sometimes you'll be judgmental and insist that your way is the right way. Sometimes you will endure hardship. But don't give up. Keep going, trusting Him to help you grow in Him and have more and more perfect moments as you journey through life. Do things His way--in love.
Father, Help me to persevere. Not to despair when I fail. Not to judge and criticize. Not to give up when dealing with adversity. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Help me to grow in godly character and love. Help me not to grow weary and give up. In Jesus' name ...
These thoughts were drawn from ...
Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. 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.