Monday, September 17, 2012


Hebrews 12:1-3:

12 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, 2 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. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. KJV

Now let's look at this in the new Living Translation:

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. New Living Translation

This translation makes it just a little clearer, don't you  think? The witnesses spoken of here refers to the testimony of the lives of those heroes of faith in chapter 11! The sin that "does so easily beset us" is the particular sin, which we each have, that is the one that so regularly "trips us up"! It is time to grow beyond being able to be so easily tripped up now! We must hide the needed Word in our hearts that will enable us to shed that sin (Psalm 119:11)! We must keep our focus daily on Jesus! He IS the source of our faith and the One Who will make the Word come alive to us, bringing "perfection" which is really "maturity"! The cross was a symbol of shame and degradation, but Jesus was so very willing to go through with this because WE would be the harvest for Him! (Thank YOU, Jesus!) The contradiction was that Jesus was being mocked and scorned by the very sinners that He was dying to save! They didn't even know it! HE didn't faint and give up and neither should we! Here are these verses in the Amplified Bible:

1 THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  [Ps 110:1.] 3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. AMP

I LOVE the "strip off and throw aside" instruction for the easily besetting sin! It is active, powerful and effective! Now let's look at one more! The Message Bible:

12 Do you see what this means — all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running — and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. 3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!  THE MESSAGE BIBLE

I LOVE that one, too! No "spiritual fat"! Spiritual fat comes from putting the Word in and never obeying it! Never los sight of your God-given goals! Keep with it and hear: "Well done, good and faithful servant!" Amen! Here is Hillsong with "Running" from the new Cornerstone album:

Shalom in Him!