I’m writing this at the beginning of the New Year, having just read a promise, ‘The Lord will fulfil His purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures for ever’ (Psalm 138:8). God has never broken a promise! If we love Him and He is first in our lives, our desire will be for His purpose to be fulfilled in us and through us and for His glory. The text for today likens the Christian life to a race and explains how we can win the race as God fulfils His purpose for us. It says ‘let us’ do three fundamental things which will open our lives for God to work His purpose through us.
Firstly, it says, ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. This means we must be serious about sin and be determined by God’s grace to get rid of it. It is much more than a hindrance. It entangles us to the extent that, until we deal with it, we are stuck and can’t move on. We must deal with the past – the things we have done, and the things done to us (of which we may be ashamed), in order to be free to move on into the future with joy and purpose. The sin that entangles is often addictive sin. When we ask the Holy Spirit to give us a hatred for this rather than a liking and dependency, we can be sure we will be set free.
Secondly, it says, ‘Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ This is God’s purpose for every life. We’re not promised an easy life now, but an eternal prize of life with Jesus for ever more. This is the prize. Discouragements and disappointments will not become stumbling blocks in the race if we are single-minded desiring God’s will, whatever that may be, and we have the commitment to obey Jesus, whatever the cost. Perseverance means being steadfast in joy and sorrow, hardship and ease, opposition or approval, and trusting our loving Father, whatever may befall.
Thirdly, it says, ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.’ He has gone before and calls us to follow Him. He is everything we could ever need – Saviour, Shepherd, Friend, Light, Way, Truth and Life. Jesus has won the victory over sin and death and He alone is worthy of praise, honour and glory. To fix our eyes on Jesus means not to take them off Him. It means to be permanently focused on who He is, what He has done and on the truth that He is coming again. If our eyes are not fixed on Jesus, we may well tend to grow weary and lose heart, so that we feel like giving up.
Be encouraged that God has a purpose for your life, which He will fulfil as you trust and obey Him, with your eyes fixed on Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You for the privilege of being chosen by You and called into Your purposes. Please give me grace to trust You whatever may lie ahead and rely on Your faithfulness and enduring love. Please take me as I am but change me increasingly into the person You have called me to be in Jesus. Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit, so that my life will overflow with Your love and commitment to others. I pray in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
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