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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 18 No. 11   Seizing Jesus, Or……???

 

Wherefore

seeing we also are compassed about

with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside

every weight,

and the sin

which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run

with patience

the race

that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus

the author

and finisher

of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him

endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is set down

at the right hand

of the throne of God.”   Hebrews 12:1-2

This is one of my favorite passages, for it is so chocked full of instructions that we can apply practically to our lives.  Hebrews 11 is nicknamed “The Hall of Faith” for it not only describes what faith “IS”—”the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”—it also tells us what ‘faith’ looks like in the lives of believers.  Yet, all the pictures aren’t the same, contrary to a lot of popular teaching; not everyone who is listed in this “Hall of Faith” was rich, not all were famous, some men, some women, children; and the last part of the chapter deals with those who suffered persecution, did without, died without fanfare but they loved their God, and HE found them faithful!  That’s what matters, not just what other people think of us!  While we are to care about and preserve our testimony, we are to do that by “looking unto Jesus”!  Why?  For a lot of reasons, but the author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus IS the “author and finisher of our faith”—that’s reason enough!

That means more than just what HE did at Calvary, but also that it was God’s plan from “before the foundation of the world”—in other words, HE (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) created us knowing that we would “sin” yet had already made a plan for our salvation that would cost “His only begotten Son” on a cruel Roman cross! All so that we could have life—abundant life here and eternal life with HIM later.  And in the interim (here on earth), we are instructed to remember those who set the examples that are mentioned in chapter 11, to “lay aside” the sin that trips us up, running our own race—the race that JESUS sets before us—with our eyes on the prize, JESUS!  All knowing the price that my salvation cost Jesus, with gratitude, love, and devotion to serve my KING!  The ONE who was “the plan” from “before the foundation of the world”!

Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who hath blessed us

with all spiritual blessings

in heavenly places

in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us

in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy

and without blame

before him

in love:  

5 Having predestinated us

unto the adoption of children

by Jesus Christ

to himself,

according to the good pleasure

of his will,” Ephesians 1:3-5

What a joy and delight to know that HE chose you/me to be HIS children, it’s the only way to heaven! To seize JESUS and HIS substitutionary, atoning, sacrifice for our salvation!

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them

that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”  John 1:12-13

Jesus is the joy of my heart, and I truly want to please HIM, yet I fail so miserably some days, but Praise His name, HIS grace is sufficient to make me more and more into HIS image, when I cling to HIM and HIS Word.

And he that searcheth the hearts

knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,

because he maketh intercession

for the saints

according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things

work together for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed to the image

of his Son,

that he might be

the firstborn

among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate,

them he also called:

and whom he called,

them he also justified:

and whom he justified,

them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say

to these things?

If God be for us,

who can be against us?”  Romans 8:27-31

As we seek Jesus, we will find that others don’t always like what we’re doing, and not everyone who brags on you has your best interest at heart.  Not everyone who smiles, or seems to be listening to you, is necessarily really hearing what you have to share, or wanting to learn what God has called you to teach, or follow the Jesus that you follow.  And in our culture, believe me, everyone doesn’t follow the “biblical Jesus”—or HIS cross.  But we must keep our eyes on the prize—our Lord’s pleasure, His grace, and His glory when we seek HIM—not worldly popularity, or financial prosperity, or positive “press” coverage!  Where are my/your eyes?

Brethren,

I count not myself to have apprehended:

but this one thing I do,

forgetting those things

which are behind,

and reaching forth

unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark

for the prize

of the high calling of God

in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14

What are we treasuring; seizing; focusing on?  Let’s press on together for our King Jesus!  HE is my Lord and King?  How about you?  Are we acting like it?  Let’s commit to “deny…self, and take up…(my) cross daily, and follow…(Jesus).

Amen and Amen!!!