Let Us Lay Aside Every Weight
Before we get into today’s devotional, don’t forget our February Men’s Fellowship Night at America’s Keswick this Thursday night, February 13th. Pastor Richard Van Heukelum, from Shawnee Baptist will be sharing a challenge from God’s Word. Dinner begins at 6:00 15 PM. Call for reservations: 732-350-1187
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
The 2014 Olympics are in process right now, and my guess is that at some point you have tuned in watch your favorite competition of the Winter games.
I have never been an athlete, and right now the thoughts of even just getting back on the treadmill are enough to cause me angst. But I need to – big time!!!
The writer of Hebrews exhorts those of us in this race called life that we need to do several key things if we are going to “finish our race with joy.”
The first imperative command is to “lay aside every weight …” Years ago when I served as a summer staff member at Sandy Cove, our Dorm Dad, Jim Steele was a runner at Bryan College. He had competed in numerous competitions and was quite the athlete.
One day I was walking into the guy’s dorm room and Jim was shaving his legs. What in the blazes was he doing? I thought just girls shaved their legs!
Jim saw the puzzled look on my face and then shared with me that for a runner, the littlest things can slow them down. For him, his hairy legs where impeding his speed.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe in his “Be Confident” on the book of Hebrews tells us that athletes used to use training weights to help them train for the competition but they would never wear them for the actual race. Why not? Well they would invariably slow down the athlete to keep him from winning the race.
Dr. Wiersbe suggests to us that “weights” are anything and everything that will hinder our progress. “They might even be ‘good’ things in the eyes of others. A winning athlete does not choose between the good and bad; he chooses between the better and best.”
That hit me right between the eyeballs. Yes, there are many “good” things that we could be doing – but they might not be the “better or best” things that GOD has marked out for us on our race.
For those of us on the second half of the journey, we are realizing that the clock of life is ticking and we need to be very careful that we are doing the things that will count for eternity.
Dr. Richard A. Swenson, author of the classic work, Margin, reminds us that “how we live our lives influences how we die, and misplaced busyness leads to terminal regrets.” Ouch!
We’ll talk more about the “weights” next Monday. Can you indentify the things in your life that might be slowing you down? What’s good – but not better or best?
Going the distance with Jesus,
President/CEO America’s Keswick
Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 26-27
Think About This: God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as his chisel for sculpting our lives. —J.I. Packer
Bible Memory: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11