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Your Eyes on Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-4 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, 
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.  For consider him that endured such contradiction
of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in
your minds.  Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving
against sin. [KJV]
are surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of
faith, so we should strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially any sin that hinders our progress. We have a race
to run, one that God has set before us. We must keep our eyes
on Jesus, because it is He on whom our faith depends from
start to finish. He willingly died a shameful death on the
cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now
He is seated in the place of highest honor, at the right Hand
of God. Think about all He endured when sinful people did
such terrible things to Him, so that you don't become weary
and give up.
I think that the “great cloud of witnesses” is made
up of the people described in Hebrews 11. Their faithfulness
is a constant encouragement to us. If we are God’s children,
we do not struggle alone, and we are not the first to struggle
with problems. The Christian life is not easy, it is hard.
We must give up ANYTHING that would endanger our relationship
with God. We must run patiently, struggling against sin with
the power of the Holy Spirit. We
must keep our eyes on Jesus. If we take our eyes off Him,
onto the circumstances surrounding us, we will stumble and
fall. If we look away from Him, and count on our power and
wisdom, we are doomed.
Any time we face hardship and discouragement, it is easy to
lose sight of the big picture. We must remember we’re
not alone; there is help. Jesus
will never leave us or forsake us. Many have
endured far more difficult circumstances than we have, and
made it through. We must not give up hope. Christ did not
give up, neither should we. If our faith stays strong and
steadfast in Christ, we will win the crown of glory.
There will be “sin that does so easily beset us,”
that hinders our progress, and it is that sin to which we
are most prone. It most often is sin to which we are most
exposed; from habit, age, or daily circumstances. Unless we
subdue sin (defeat and cast it out), it will hinder our running
the Christian race and our service to our Lord, and block
our view of, and fellowship with Jesus.
If we are faithful, and look to Jesus, our thoughts and deeds
will be kept under control. We must not faint under trials.
We must not fret but bear them with faith and patience. God
will most certainly chasten His children when we refuse to
give up sin; but God’s correction is not condemnation.
We can endure the chastening with patience, with His help;
and hopefully learn a good lesson from it.
Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered him
and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the
water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on
the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous,
he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord,
save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand,
and caught him, and said unto him, O
thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? [KJV] We are not to “tempt” God (Matthew 4:7).
Peter was not tempting Jesus, but reacting in faith. Peter
was impulsive, and this request led him to experience God’s
power in a very unusual way.
Peter DID walk on the water! We are not told how far he walked, but he did walk on the
water! WHY did Peter sink? He took his eyes off Jesus and
focused on the high waves of the storm around him. When Peter’s
faith wavered, because he took his eyes off our Lord, he sank
into the turbulent and violent sea. We may not walk on water,
but we do walk through some tough situations. If we focus
on the waves of all the difficult circumstances around us;
and not look to Jesus for help, we too may despair with the
hopelessness of our situation, and sink. To
keep our faith strong when conditions are hard and rough going,
keep your eyes on Jesus’ power, NOT on our weakness.
Christ’s disciples will meet with many great and furious
storms in the line of duty, but He will shower us with abundant
and amazing grace to overcome them, if
we keep our eyes on Him! There are many things He can do to save His people.
Nothing is impossible for Him! Nothing should make us afraid
if we have Christ near us, not even death itself.
Peter walked on the water; NOT to boast about it, but to go
to Jesus, and he was wonderfully upheld . . . until he took
his eyes off Jesus. We can never come to Jesus, unless we
are upheld by His power. Christ told Peter to “come,”
not only that he might walk upon the water, and know the Lord’s
power, but that he might know his own weakness. When we take
our eyes off Christ, and look at the great and opposing difficulties,
we shall begin to fall; but when we call out to Him, He will
stretch out His hand and save us. Christ is our great Saviour;
and all those who want to be saved, must come to Him, and
cry out to Him for salvation.
When we find ourselves sinking; our sense of need and helplessness
should drive us to Him. Jesus rebuked Peter, and He will rebuke
us also! If we would keep our
eyes on Jesus, we would suffer a whole lot less! Our
weakness of faith and relentless doubts displease our Lord.
There is no good reason why Christ’s disciples should
have doubtful minds. Even in our most stormy day, He is always
“a very present help.” No one but the
world’s Creator could multiply the loaves, and no one
but its Ruler could walk upon the waters of the sea.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe
that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently
seek him. [KJV] God does not ask too much from His children,
but He does ask; rather He demands that we have faith.
is our unquestioning belief and trust in God! It is simply
believing what God tells us. Without faith, there is NO way
we can ever please God! This verse tells us God will reward
those who diligently (persistently) seek Him. And when we
have found Him, we must keep our eyes on Him from that day
forward; for when we take our eyes off Him, our faith will
waver and we will start doubting that He can indeed help us
as He so graciously promises. Are you keeping your eyes on
Jesus? Let’s not be like Peter and look at the storm
around us; for we will surely sink without Jesus!
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LORD AND KING
A Gift Unequaled
Fulness of Christ
Death of Jesus
Who is Christ?
the Only Way!
Did Jesus Have to Die?
or Without Christ