This chapter is so rich with spiritual revelation and application that we will likely be going through it more slowly.
Verse 1 begins with “therefore”, so we know that because of everything previous in this message of Hebrews, we can therefore conclude that we should think and do what will be said next… Plus, since so many have also gone previously before us staying strong in faith by living out their testimony to the Truth in God, we should do likewise!
What are we to do because of this message and their faithful testimonies?
We are to strip off and throw aside every encoumbrance and any sin (separation from God) that could so easily and deceptively try to entangle and cling to us.
In previous Bible studies, I have learned what some of these entanglements are (the “D” divuiders from God):
distractions – like worldliness or being too busy
deceptions – false doctrines or philosophies or worldviews
deceivers – respecting the word of others over the Word of God, ranging from professional educators or leaders to peers
destructions – troubles to stop and block us
dangers – things that cause fear
doubt – worry or unbelief
distant relationship with God – no longer having God as our first love
distress – anxiety or stress
dependence or focus on sefl – pride, self-centeredness, and selfishness
Maybe you can think of more….
And then we need to learn to deal with sin. There are wrong habits and patterns of thinking and behavior that we learned from the world that we must now learn are not right, then repent, and then practice to change into a new right thinking and new behavior according to what God ways is right in His Word and by learning His ways! This is how we learn and grow to be more like Jesus! We live by faith and are strengthened and encouraged (instilled with courage) by faith and trust in God!
Now there is a daily and lifelong challenge!!! We are supposed to run our life race with patient endurance, steady progress, and active persistence! This is a long hard race which will require a lot of faith in Gopd and good coaching from the Holy Spirit! It requires daily keep-on-keeping-on with trust and faith in God. If you are willing, He is able to keep you!
Get ready, get set, go!
Hebrews 12: 2-4
So, we should look away from every distraction and keep focusing on Jesus. I am reminded of Peter’s ability to walk on stormy waters as long as he focused on Jesus. Jesus is our Leader!
Jesus is our beginning Source and our Finisher! He is the beginning of our belief and faith in Him. And He brings us to spiritual maturity and eventually to His perfection.
We must learn from His example, that He looked with joy to obtaining the prize set before Him. He endured the cross, ingnored the shame, endured grievous opposition and bitter hostility. But now, He sits at the right hand of God! Our joy and hope is in Jesus!
Our trials do not compare to His, so we should not grow weary or exhausted, lose heart, or let our mind faint. We have not struggles as agonizingly against sin as He, nor have we withstood to the point of pouring out our blood. His example and victory over death should give us strength and courage, holding fast to our faith and trust in Jesus in every situation.