What’s Holding You Back?

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-10-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 12:1-3

BIBLE TEXT: Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him.

OBSERVATION: Many years ago I was told by a young man that he shaved every hair from his arms and legs, with hopes that he would gain a few milaseconds in his swimming races! That sounded so funny to me, but as we meditate on this Scripture today, I am convinced that we will each think of something that is distracting, or slowing us down along our pathway to heaven as we live among sin here on this earth. It may not be anyone’s fault but your own, so let me encourage you to seek out the heart of God as you meditate with me.

APPLICATION: Don’t we always try to find someone, or something, on whom to blame our troubles and/or distractions in life? Of course there must be someone else who caused our troubles, right? If only we could put distance between us and them, we might get somewhere in life, or we might live like Jesus, or we will have no distractions. Really?? I believe that if we were to seek the face of Jesus and be reminded of His love for us, remember the commitment we made to Him to live like Him for as long as we have breath in our bodies, then we might also be adult enough to recognize our inadequacies, our weaknesses and our pride. For you see, I believe that often we make decisions that will help us look good in the eyes of our boss, or our family, or our friends, but not necessarily righteous in the eyes of Jesus. We are reminded in this chapter all that Jesus went through on the cross, yet He came out on the other end as One who is righteous and One who always lived an upright and just life before His Father. We are also reminded of other saints who have gone on before us, who were stallworths in the faith arena. Think of the faith of Moses to stand at the edge of the Red Sea with an army that were entrusted to his leadership by God Himself, yet to look ahead he saw nothing but impossibilities – a large body of water, and to look behind he saw an onslaught of the Egyptian army. But you see, it was God who ordered Moses to lead his people towards the Promised Land, so Moses had faith that God would not turn His back on the very direction that He ordered Moses to follow. So God did that which seemed impossible to mankind in order to save His people and to stay true to His Word. For each of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have been promised the likes of Heaven around the throne of our Father. Do you suppose there is anything God would not do for us as we journey along this very challenging time here on earth? God is always true to His Word! If only we would stay true to God, I am convinced that He will help us to shake off every temptation, every distraction, every friend that tries to derail our run for the finish line, and He will give us strength, guidance and persistence for the things He has taught us, and expects from us, until we kneel in humility at His feet. For those reading this that may not know Jesus as Lord, please be encouraged by this word today, for it is an awesome reminder of why we stand in awe of our King, and why we have accepted His Son for the redemption of our sin. We can speak with confidence about what the future holds for us. Don’t you want that same assurance today? Please read my Footnote carefully, especially the Biblical references available through the links I provided. Decide today to place your faith and trust in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, thank You for providing a way when often there seems to not be a way for us to go. You have proven Yourself so often, so placing our faith in You should therefore be easy. May our faith be so strong in You that we will boldly place our trust in You and obey whatever You ask us to do. Please Lord, give us grace to place our trust in You. Give us the faith we need each day to speak and act like You and to follow every command of yours, knowing that there is no other God but You. Please encourage those who doubt and find it challenging to follow You in faith. Oh that we may rid ourselves of everything that holds us back in our faith and in our Christian walk. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

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