Daily Bible Reading – December 23, 2021

December 23 (Daily reading: Hebrews 11-13) (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV) The writer of Hebrews inspires us by describing the faith of many Old Testament personalities: “a great cloud of witnesses” (12:1) who were all “commended for their faith” (11:39). He then turned the spotlight on us by using a race as a metaphor for life. I ran the half-mile in high school. That seems long but it only takes a couple of minutes. It’s too long to sprint, and too short to take it easy. You must stay disciplined and keep your focus on the finish line. If you get distracted, you will lose the race. The writer described the distractions that we must “throw off” as “everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Our assignment in this metaphor is to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” This is a reminder that the course of our life is “marked out.” God has a unique plan for us, and no one else can run the race for us.

How must we run this race? By “fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Why? He is “the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” He began our faith venture when He became our Savior, and, as our Lord, He will take us to the finish line! “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Phil. 1:6). He is our example by the way He ran His own race. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” He completed the race by accomplishing the Father’s will. How can “joy” and “cross” be in the same sentence? There will always be joy when we accomplish God’s purposes! If we follow Christ’s example, we “will not grow weary and lose heart.”

– Al Gary





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