ARE YOU MEEK?


Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  NKJV

I had a person tell me that to be meek was to be weak therefore they would never be meek because they would never be weak.  No amount of persuasion could convince them that meekness and weakness did not have to be synonymous.  That individual was critical of anyone who demonstrated any meekness through humility and believed those people were doormats and would always be trampled on.  He was frequently confrontative and combative in his interactions with people.  That is not what the word ‘meek’ used here in this passage means.

The word in the Greek is ‘praus’ with is a primary word that means ‘mild’ and by implication ‘humble.’  Immediately the words of Matthew 11:29 comes to mind where our LORD said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly at heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.”  Wow!  Jesus was ‘meek’ and if we are to be like Him, that is how we should be.

But, how was He ‘meek’?  Was he ‘weak’?  Of course not, so we need to immediately reject that idea and stereotype that being ‘meek’ is being ‘weak’.  Meekness is demonstrated powerfully in our response to injuries and difficulties in life.  Meekness carries the idea of Patience and that causes me to remember the words of Jesus in Luke 21:19 that we are to ‘possess our souls through meekness.’  That passage makes ‘meekness’ virtually synonymous with ‘endurance’ and ‘patience.’  It conveys the idea of Standing Firm in the face of life’s difficulties because we are ‘in Him.’

Jesus taught that if someone offends or injures us, we are to ‘turn the other cheek’.  If that is viewed as cowardice or weakness we will not find the humility, compassion, or love to forgive but will seek to retaliate?  The person who exhibits true ‘meekness’ is one who can endure hardship and injury with grace because that person believes that God is our vindicator. 

I have seen it demonstrated and tasted of the truth that meekness produces an inner peace that can come through no other action or reaction.  I had a situation where an individual informed me that they were going to destroy me and remove me from the church if I did not comply with their demands.  That individual attempted to impede progress and rather than fight back I calmly presented facts and reality to the people.  The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “Do not speak evil to or about her, just be silent and watch Me.”  In about two weeks the hold that individual had held over the church for decades was shattered and I never said a word to her.  I had a peace that God would vindicate so I trusted.

The amazing promise for those who are Meek is they will ‘inherit the earth.’  I had a person say to me, “Who wants it?”  It could have been translated land and if it was it could be viewed as the nation of Israel viewed Canaan.  They viewed the land as their ‘anakali’ or Place of Promise.  Therefore, if we view the promise to inherit the earth as receiving the Promise of God we should rejoice greatly.  He never fails to fulfill His promises or keep His word. 

Meekness, therefore, produces a sense of peace through confidence in God’s Promise of Protection and Provision.  Remember when Israel was being pursued by the Egyptian army and were petrified?  They were willing to return to slavery because of that fear.  They were willing to demonstrate ‘weakness’ and may have thought it was ‘meekness’ but it was cowardice and confusion.  They were not staying focused on Who God Was and Is.

Moses attempted to calm them in Exodus 14:13 saying, “Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you have seen today, you will never see them again.”  Hallelujah!  If we Trust, Obey, Stand Firm, wait in Patience and thereby exhibit God’s Meekness we will see God’s deliverance.  Love and Grace are always more powerful than Hate and Vengeance. 

My prayer is “Lord, help me to be meek without being weak and to trust You completely in all things and at all times.”  If I do that, I am completely confident that I will inherit the land or the promise and having done all to stand I can stand and keep on standing.  He will never fail.  Let us seek to be meek without being weak!

May the Lord bless you richly as you proceed on your journey this day!

COMFORT FOR THOSE WHO MOURN…


Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  NASB

When you read the beatitudes, if you are like me, you sometimes are perplexed.  Some of them make perfect sense in the natural and seem to have no spiritual application.  Some make sense only in the spiritual and seem to have no natural application.  This, like most of the beatitudes, can and likely does have a dual meaning that touches both the natural and the spiritual. 

However, I am fully convinced that Jesus did not offer this declaration simply to console those who have lost someone or something in this life.  I do believe that is part of His intent but not the full meaning, He intended. 

This like each of the beatitudes identifies a condition and offers a hope or a promise for those in that condition.  If we connect this beatitude to the previous one and follow through the progression, we must consider it far more than the natural.  If being ‘poor in spirit’ can be applied to being empty of self and focused on and dependent on God, then mourning must have a spiritual application as well.  Also, it must be considered in light of our attitude toward ourselves and our condition.

Jesus called the Holy Spirit ‘The Comforter’ in John 14:26 as an identifier of one aspect of the ministry of the Spirit of God.  That identification followed His promise in verse 18 that He would not leave us comfortless.  In 2 Corinthians 7:10, we discover that “godly sorry produces repentance” and that repentance brings bout the peace of God through His grace. 

I suggest that the mourners focused on here are those who recognize their sinfulness and realize their spiritual poverty without God and mourn over that condition.  It is recognizing that we have been rebels and participants in the cosmic rebellion that began in the Garden of Eden through disobedience and rejection of God’s rule and reign in our lives.  It is mourning over the fact that through our committing sin we have become servants of sin and disobedient to God.  It is a recognition that we have broken God’s heart.

Losing a loved one, a relationship or some prized possession produces deep pain, anguish, and remorse.  It can be debilitating and bring about such depression that the person becomes incapable of functioning.  It is a genuine and real problem and I am not diminishing the truth that God ‘comforts the broken-hearted.’  All the broken hearted!  What I am attempting to focus on is when we come to a full awareness of our sinfulness and poverty without Him, we mourn, and His promise is not only that we will be comforted but that He won’t reject us or fail us.

He promised to not leave us comfortless.  He promised that if we take His yoke upon us, He will relieve our burden.  He has promised that if we come to Him, He will not turn us aside.  He has promised to never leave or forsake us.  Remember the words of promise in Psalm 51:17 that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”  Thus, we can be assured that not only will God comfort us in our natural sorrows and losses, but He will give us spiritual comfort when we come to Him out of brokenness for our sinful condition. 

1 John 1:9 is an anchor upon which I depend, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If you are in mourning either in the natural or over your spiritual condition, know that He is our Comfort and our Comforter never fails to keep His promises.

God bless you as you run this leg of your life’s journey.  Walk in the comfort of the LORD on this beautiful day.

POOR IN SPIRIT…


Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  NASB

This is a very interesting, sometimes perplexing, and complex passage.  I have heard arguments from all sides regarding what it means to be ‘poor in spirit’ and most of those arguments leave me wanting.  What was Jesus teaching?  Was He teaching that being poor makes one happy?  What is a ‘poor spirit’

The word “blessed” in the Greek text means “happy”.  That focuses on the source of that blessedness or the quarter from which that happiness comes.  Here the statement is “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”  Jesus, what are you talking about? 

As I examine this beautiful yet troubling beatitude, I bring my mind to bear on the word “Blessed” or “Happy” and proceed from there.  If something is a blessing and brings happiness which is the result of a stimulus that is a good place to begin our consideration.  The stimuli that produce that state of Blessedness is being poor in spirit.  The benefit or reward for that condition is ‘the Kingdom of Heaven.’  That is nothing short of incredible.  Who would not want the Kingdom of Heaven to be a current and daily reality in their lives?  What believer would not want God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth in the same manner and to the same degree it is done in heaven?

How is the abundance of God’s riches to be squared with poverty?  It cannot be. But poverty is not the topic but being ‘poor in spirit.’  If I am poor in the natural, I have no goods.  If I am poor in relationships, I am alone.  If I am poor in health, I am sick.  So, what does it mean to be ‘poor in spirit’?

Let me suggest a possibility and you decide if you consider it a valid consideration or explanation.  I suggest that being ‘poor in spirit’ is to be ‘empty of self.’  Remember the words of John the Baptist in John 3:30?  He said, concerning Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  I suggest that He cannot increase to us, until and unless we decrease to ourselves.  The apostle Paul warned not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think in Romans 12:3. 

I suggest that being ‘poor in spirit’ is a condition in which we totally rely on and trust in God.  We recognize our own mortality and finiteness and focus on his immortality and infiniteness.  Our hearts and minds are focused upward and outward rather than inward.  If I am ‘rich’ toward who I think I am and the top priority is given to me, my needs, my wants, my ambitions, I am number one.  There can only be one number one in our lives.  Remember the declaration of Jesus in Matthew 6:24 that it is impossible to serve two masters at the same time. 

If I am ‘poor in spirit’ I recognize my frailty, failure, sin, and unfitness.  It is in that condition that I shift my focus to Him and as I look to Him, I have the immeasurable promises of the Bible to strengthen me.  He has promised in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect when we recognize and acknowledge our weakness.  He is the Almighty God and we are finite mortal created beings.  He is the giver and sustainer of life we are recipients of that life not the creators of it.  The ‘poor in spirit’ recognize Him and turn to Him.

I challenge you to consider Psalm 91 and Matthew 6:33 and reflect on the incredible promises of God for the one that makes Him first in their lives.  That person that empties themselves of self and refuses put anything before Him is rich in Him while being poor in their own spirit.  Being ‘poor in spirit’ is to recognize that it is in Him and only in Him that we live and move and have being. 

If you are rich in yourself (we are not talking about possessions but attitude) you are a pauper in Him.  On the other hand if you empty yourself of self and cast all your care on Him trusting Him for your everything you become possessors of His Promises and in those promises are the words of Jesus in Luke 12:32, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” 

My desire is “LORD, help me to focus less on me and more on You.  Help me to empty myself of self and open my heart to You.  Help me to become ‘poor in spirit’ and rich in You so that I can truly be an instrument for good in this world and bring joy to Your heart.”

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

THE ABIDING ISSUE – Part Three


John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”  NASB

Abiding in Him and having His Words abide in us is a significant challenge.  It cannot and will not be achieved with superficial Christianity.  I am not suggesting that we become eerily spiritual in our lives but that we completely commit our entire selves to God.  He becomes the first thought of our day and the last thought as we retire in the evening.  He is our Hope, our Source, our Strength, and the reason we do everything we do.  It is in Him and through Him that we live and exist.  We are conscious of Him all the time.  I did not say we felt something all the time but that we are conscious of Him, His Word, His Purpose, and His Precepts.  Our lives are becoming one with Him completely.

He promises that “IF” we abide in Him and His words abide in us whatever we wish or ask will be done for us.  I love 1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”  That is nothing short of incredible! 

The Psalmist declared in Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  The next verse is equally powerfully declaring, “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”  Also, if we consider the promises of Psalm 91, we are blown away. 

The man or woman who dwells in God, in His secret place, which is the picture John 15 paints of ‘abiding’ in Him and His words ‘abiding’ in us.  The promises are that we receive deliverance and protection from the snares of life and pestilence.  We discover that we are fearless because fear is banished.  We have the promise that although there are calamity and disaster all around us it won’t touch us.  The angels of God are commissioned to watch over us and protect us.  There is even the promise of long life and the promise that God will answer our prayers.  That is amazing! 

Joshua 1:8 is incredibly powerful and holds a great reward.  It says, “The Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.” 

How about Psalms 1 and the picture of the blessed man.  He is the one that is ‘abiding’ in God and God’s words are ‘abiding’ in him.  The passage God used to bring me to salvation was Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” 

I have to ask, “If God promised a place that we could have answers to all our prayers, why are we not living there?”  I would also ask, “When did God stop being God?” If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever as the Bible declares and He did things once, ‘Why Not Now?’” 

I do not believe that God makes any statement in the Bible that includes a Promise or Provision that is somehow unavailable to those of us who believe.  In Isaiah 55:11 the declaration of God was that His word would not return to Him without fulfilling His decree.  In Numbers 23:19, God challenged Israel with the question, “have I not said it, and will I not do it?”  What is it that God says that He either cannot or will not do? 

I want to dwell in His Presence in the here and now.  I pray the prayer He instructed in Matthew 6 and believe that God would never have instructed us to pray that way if it were not possible.  He would never have said the words of John 15:7 if they were not possible.  If I were to adopt the mentality that some of God is Word is for me now and some are not, I would be terrified that Salvation is also no longer available.  God is a Covenant Making and Covenant Keeping God and He Tells the Truth.

Therefore, if I am not getting the answer to all my prayers the problem is not with Him.  I am tired of making excuses for God when something does not happen that I am praying for.  He doesn’t need my excuses and they do me no good.  If I ask according to His will, He says that I have what I have asked.  In our scripture, we are considering He says that if I abide in Him and His words abide in me, I get what I ask. 

Therefore, rather than finding excuses as to why we don’t have that a reality in our lives why not seek to find out why not and commit ourselves to press into His presence? It is my hope that each of us will become more like Him and lives more fully manifest Him and His word.

God bless you as you enjoy this beautiful day in Jesus!

THE ISSUE OF ABIDING – Part Two…


John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”  NASB

Part one of the equation and the fulfillment of the Promise requires us to ‘Abide’ in Him.  That ‘abiding’ must be done 24/7/365 and be a total commitment not compartmentalization of aspects of our lives and being.  It is ‘abiding’ In Him with our whole being. I wish I could tell you that this passage is a daily and constant reality in my life, but I can’t.  Yes, I love God and am committed to Him, but I cannot say that whatever I wish or ask for I get all the time.  Now let’s consider part two of the equation.

AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU…

It is one thing to ‘abide’ in Him, in Jesus but what about His words ‘abiding’ in us.  Consider this in the same manner as you considered the 1st part of the equation, ‘abiding in Him.’  Is the Word of God one with us, all the time, in all situations, and in all places?  Do we ever find ourselves operating in the flesh and trusting our own wisdom, thoughts, words, and ability?  Of course, most of us do.  Before you say, “But we are human so what else can we expect, I ask you to look at the verse again.” 

The “if” is inescapable and it not only implies that there is something expected and required of us but that fulfilling that requirement is possible.  If ‘abiding’ in Him requires 24/7/365 commitment and focus, then having His words ‘abide’ in us does as well.  Paul instructed the Thessalonian Christians to “pray without ceasing.”  How can that be possible?  How can one function in life if you are engaged in prayer every waking moment and even in your sleep invested in the process? 

It is through ‘abiding’ in Him and having His words ‘abide’ in us that we can pray without ceasing and stay focused on Him fully.  It is as we become one with Him through Grace and one with His Word that we discover the possibility of praying without ceasing, rejoicing always, and discover the ability to manifest Him as well as represent Him in this present world.  I call your attention to 1 John 4:17 where the apostle John brings our attention to God’s desired reality that “as Jesus is, so are we in this world.”  He was not talking about what we would be when we get to heaven, here in the present. 

How is He?  Is He not one with the Father?  He said He was.  Is He not always making intercession for us?  He said He was.  In fact, if you examine the total of scripture you discover in the word of Jesus to Pilate that the Word of God is Truth and then in John 14:6 Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”  So, the Word of God is Truth and Jesus is the Truth, is that a conflict?  Hardly for in John 1:1 we read the incredible declaration that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  So, if the Word of God is Truth and Jesus is Truth and the Word created all things, then we know that the Word is Jesus. 

If we are to have His Words abide in us, we must have Jesus abiding in us and we must become one with His Word.  I acknowledge the distinction between words and word.  He is the Word, but His Words are those truths and principles He taught.  I urge you to recall His promise that when the Holy Spirit comes, He brings light to the truth of God and guides us into All Truth which is the Word, which is Jesus.  He leads us into the fullness of Jesus, and we are able to become one with the Word of Christ!

The Word of God transforms us.  One of the ways it transforms us in through our thoughts or the ‘renewing of our minds.’  It is as we become one with the word that we learn to both abide in Him and have His words abide in us.  In short, we become the physical manifestation of God’s Word.  The Power of God flows to and through us.  We are able to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus.  We are able to demonstrate the Word of God in our lives. 

Imagine living in a manner and being so completely united with Him and His Words that doubt vanishes completely! The disciples were channels of extraordinary miracles. That, I believe was only possible because they were ‘abiding’ in Him and His words were ‘abiding’ in them. 

I am reminded of the account in Acts 19 where it speaks of the seven sons of Sceva who had observed the miracles performed by Paul through the power of the Holy Spirit.  They decided to cast out a demon and thought it was a formula, so they declared, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches come out.”  The demon was not impressed.  The spirit said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I am familiar with, but who are you?” The results of that encounter would be hilarious were it not so serious and so true of too many today.

When we become one with the Word and the Words of Jesus abide in us as we abide in Him, we unleash the Power of Heaven and this becomes a very real fulfillment of the prayer Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10 – “Thy kingdom come…”  It opens the door for God to be God in our lives and in our world.  How can I doubt, if Jesus is living His life through me?  How can I doubt, if I become one with the Word of God?  How can I doubt, if ‘as He is, I am in this present world’?

We are half-way through our examination of this Promise, Problem, and Possibility.  I hope you will join me for more consideration of this as we seek to see this passage become a daily reality in our lives.

God bless you as you run today’s leg of your life’s journey. 

THE ISSUE OF ABIDING…


John 15:7 – “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.”  NASB

There are verses in the Bible that are problematic.  Not that they are problems concerning the truth but a problem of them being a normal manifestation in our lives.  This is one of those passages.  There are four things specifically listed in this passage that must be considered when seeking to understand and implement this directive, challenge, and promise into our lives individually and collectively.

There is that dastardly word “if” at the beginning and virtually any time we find “if” there is a potential problem because there is a condition attached to the promise.  Usually, it is an “if” followed by a “then”.  In those we find God telling us that “if” you will, “then” I will do this or that.  I ask you to join me in seeking to become the people who enjoy the fulfillment of the promise in this passage.

Imagine living in such a manner that whatever you wish for, hope for, long for, or ask God for is yours.  Of course, there must be a significant discussion because a blanket promise to give whatever we wish is easily problematic.  It goes without saying or should that if our requests or wishes are contrary to the heart and nature of God and violate the moral principles of the Bible, we dare not expect to receive those things from Him.  He will never violate His character or disregard His Word. 

Nevertheless, the promise is there and if it is there, it has potential.  God does not speak flippantly or make idle promises.  We could spend hours on just that thought and walk through a myriad of scripture verses detailing God’s attitude toward His Word.  That would be beneficial but due to time and space, we must resist the urge to do so. 

The Four Specific Statements or Parts of this Promise are Abiding in Him, His Words Abiding in us, The Desires of our hearts, and the Promise to Grant those Desires.  How many can say, “I get whatever I ask from God all the time?” 

I hope that no one said that, but some may, and I hope you are factually correct.  I will leave that assertion to you and God to sort out, but I confess that I am not there.  I have served God in ministry for 50 years now and I’m still striving to enter that state of relationship.  Maybe that makes me weak and speaks ill of me, but it is an honest confession and statement of reality.  Therefore, I continue to press toward the mark and seek the prize of this promise.

IF YOU ABIDE IN ME…

What does it mean to Abide in Christ?  When we turn to the Greek, we discover that the word “abide” is the Greek word ‘meno’ which simply means to stay in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy.  It conveys the idea of enduring, tarrying, standing, or living in that place or state. 

If Christ is ‘abiding’ in me then He is living in me constantly.  Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior that is a factual reality.  He is ‘abiding’ in us but what about us ‘abiding’ in Him.  Before you split hairs doctrinally and take some sectarian argument as your foundation, I ask you to examine with me some considerations.

Are we always ‘abiding’ in Him?  Do we stay with Him and keep Him as the center of our universe and lives?  Are we living, daily, continually, in the state of Matthew 6:33 where we ‘seek Him first’?  He is in us but are we mentally, emotionally, and relationally abiding in Him all the time? 

We know that we can produce no fruit aside from the vine and He is the vine.  He cannot be a part-time LORD.  We cannot be divided in our devotion.  We cannot be double-minded holding to the flesh, the world, and God at the same time.  We are to ‘abide’ in Him.  He is our dwelling place.

Consider Psalm 91:9 – “Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place…”  In Psalms 90:1 – “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.”   In Acts 17:28 we discover, that “in Him, we live and move and exist.”  In Psalms 27:4 we read, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” 

I personally believe that abiding in Him is impossible aside from the infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  He promises to fill us and once He has, how do we stay full?  Ephesians 5:17-20 gives understanding.  It is by verbalizing the Word of God especially the Psalms, singing hymns, spiritual songs, singing to Him, and expressing our gratitude.  We are exhorted in Philippians 4:8 to focus on His Truth and meditate on His truth, right things, and things that uplift.  It is not simply the power of positive thinking but thinking rightly and truly we become what we behold or what holds our hearts.

So, I ask, “Are we abiding in Him?”  That abiding is to be 24/7/365.  It is not living a compartmentalized life where we have a business life, a social life, a family life, a church life, and a devotional life.  It is being and functioning in Him, through Him, for Him, and doing all that we do as an act of worship unto Him.  It is being totally surrendered to Him at all times and in all things.  There is no vacation from Abiding!

If we don’t get the 1st part of the equation right, there is no 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.  I heard it said, and I agree “If God is 1st there is no 2nd because if He is 1st all else falls into place.”  I have barely scratched the surface and must deal beyond this long but brief devotional.  I hope you will stay with me as we examine this Promise, Challenge, Directive, and Command in the following devotionals.

God bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

MAKE LIFE COUNT – Part Two…


Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  NASB

In the last devotional we discussed the challenge or instruction written in the Book of Hebrews to Christians who were struggling with their new life and dealing with its difficulties.  The challenge was, “Let Us Run.”  Today, I would like for us to consider How we are to Run that Race.

We are to Run Stripped of Every Handicap.  That sounds elementary and complex.  How and What is he talking about?  It is our objective to win the race or finish the course and therefore want nothing to hinder our speed or impede our journey, right? There are some things that must be done and things that must be considered.

If we expect to run this race successfully it is imperative that we Put Aside Sin, Every Sin.  I call to your remembrance the story of Samson.  He was a match for every difficulty and situation until he broke his vows and then he was like everybody else and easily defeated. 

Not only are we to put aside every Sin but every Weight.  What is the difference?  A weight is something that is not, in itself, sinful but if we allow it to continue will become sinful through wrong use.  I believe there is a biblical test for everything. 

One simple question that we should ask in every situation is, “Does this help or hinder me in running this Christian Race?”  I read an account was a crow was caught in a river by a young boy without any special equipment.  The crow had gotten its toe caught in a mussel shell that was lodged between some rocks and could not fly away.  The mussel shell or trap did not kill the crow.  It did not break his wings so that he could not fly but made his movement difficult if not impossible and allowed him to be captured.  Do not allow the weights of life to impede your progress, cast all your care on Jesus!

A third thing that we need to consider in this challenge is not only are we to run and remove all hindrances, but we are to run with Patience.  That is possibly the most difficult of all.  This Christian Life or Race is not a sprint it is a marathon.  Sadly, some lose patience because they face opposition.  Opposition is to be expected. The Bible warned that if we serve God, we will face persecution.  Most of us face little if any and nothing compared to what they faced in the days of the writing of the Bible.

Patience is urged because believers have no right to lose heart considering what Jesus did and is doing.  In a very real sense, suffering as a mark of sonship.  Not that we should seek suffering but if we suffer for our faith that is not a bad thing and God takes note of it in giving us strength and protection.

Finally, we are to Run Looking to Jesus.  The literal translation is that we are to run looking away from everything but Jesus.  I like that.  He is our Source.  He is our Example.  He is our Constant Help in the Time of Need.  We can make our lives count for Jesus if we will follow the prescription of the writer of Hebrews.

Remember, we have a Great Cloud of Witnesses.  We have Jesus as our Constant Source of Help, Supply, and Strength.  We have the Guidance and Provision of the Word, the Covenant, and the Promises of the Word of God to help us Stand and Grow in Grace.

May the LORD help you as you ‘strive’ to enter in and run this race with patience and unencumbered by weights and sins. 

Have a fantastic day in Him!