Ps Clinton Phillips 30th November 2014 (Hebrews 12:1-2)Clinton Phillips, November 30, 2014
Part of the Sunday series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
Looking unto Jesus, Focus unto Jesus, Focus away from the distraction
Heb 12:1. Put aside every weight. Lay aside. Run with endurance. Looking to Jesus.
Story. Sometimes in life we look at the circumstances around us, and everyone else is ahead of us, and it discourages us. Don't give up because of the circumstances that you're facing. Run with endurance! One step in front of the other. Especially when you feel like you can't go on - just one more step. Don't quit!
Anything that hinders your progress. Laying aside: understand the book of Hebrews. Writing to the saved. Chapter 11 - the hall of fame of the faith. Beginning to encourage them. At this point in history, getting so discouraged, to the point of renouncing their faith and going back to Judaism. It's just easier to give up! Speak into that life today that says "it's just too difficult, it's just too hard". This word is to keep running the race. The race isn't always easy. Exercise is hard, but we enjoy the benefits of exercise. The trial that you're going through is meant to build your faith not take away your faith. Take another look at that situation - don't just discard the experience, push through. If you push through this, it will build strength, endurance and faith, so that you become stronger in the faith.
Put aside the sin that besets us. Sometimes struggling against the trial and the storm. Unbelief becomes a close friend. When you're going through the storm, it's hard to believe that you'll make it because your courage has left you. The question becomes "can God really do this ?"
Picture from last week: What do you see? The little black dot, or the big white space. Sometimes God wants us to look beyond our stuff, but at the enormity of what you're a part of. God in spite of all the stuff I'm going through, God you are so much bigger than that. God, there is so much more of you than the trials and troubles that we're going through.
"What God is bringing you through at this very moment is going to be the testimony that will bring somebody else through. No Mess, No Message."
Hebrews 11:30. Their testimony is the cheer squad for you and I. They had to face opposition, go to war on things. They didn't get strong sitting around doing nothing. These people demonstrated that you can lay aside stuff. Because their focus was on Jesus and his ability to bring them through.
If I can change the way that I think about my circumstances, then I can rest. eg Cornerstone song "through the storm, He is Lord". When we begin do see God as being in control then we can rest in him even during the hard times. eg story of Jeremy being sick. Through the storm, discovered that God is able to bring you through, even through loss and grief and unanswered prayer. Discover a strength that we didn't know we had. Discouragement wants you to question every time "Is God truly able?".
Rahab. She already knows about God, the israelites reputation went ahead. They're standing outside Jericho. The spies tell her "God has given us the city". Rahab says "Don't just spare me, but my whole family". After that, she joins Israel, becomes part of Israel, becomes a person of faith. Marries a prince of Judah, has a child Boaz. 1 Chronicles 2. Mentioned in the great hall of faith. Even Matthew Ch 1 - lineage of Jesus includes Rahab.
Looking unto Jesus. Focus. Jesus is the author of our faith - everything we need to trust him.
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1Wherefore 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, 2Looking 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. (KJV)