Patience (June 15, 2011)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight , and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

As we continue in our study of patience with Hebrews 12:1-2 as our text in focus, we find a critical point about patience:

Patience is centered on Christ. We look to Jesus, the author of our faith. He is the leader, the pioneer, the one who granted us and gifted us with faith. Paul, elsewhere, describes Jesus as the forerunner of our faith. Our Christianity is one long chase of Jesus, the author, the race leader for his people. He isn’t only the author, the leader of our faith, but he is the finisher of our faith as well. He carries it to its completion. The life we live, we live in union with Christ who has secured our lives in himself that we might be partakers of the kingdom of God and as we see in this passage that he sits down at the right hand of God and we look to the day when we will sit with him in that seat and reign with Christ to the glory of God the Father.

Cultivation

Cultivating Patience means Weeding: 

  1. Lay aside weights: Weights aren’t sinful, clearly, because he mentions sin specifically in the next part of the verse. Weights are things that keep the runner from going at the pace that he should be going. Many times we think we’re moving at God’s pace and he’s not moving fast enough, when the reality might be that God wants us to be moving much faster than we are, but we’re too distracted with other things. What are some things that distract you? These could be good things that you make into God things which turns them into bad things. These could be good things or good tools that you use that start becoming a focus rather than helping you focus on what’s best.
    1. The Jewish believers that the book of Hebrews is addressed to had to wrestle with their legalistic tendencies constantly. For many of you, there might be things that you have added to the gospel that are distracting you from Jesus himself. You may be so focused on the external, moral conformity to a certain sense of decorum that you never focus on the gospel.
    2. There are other things that I think distract us besides legalism, however. Obviously technology can be a distraction. I am not saying technology is sinful. I am saying it can be distracting. If we surround ourselves with technology that speeds up the pace of life so much that we can’t imagine life without these devices, we are too attached to them.
    3. I go off on Christian music a lot, because there is a lot of Christian music on the radio that is just dumb, and completely devoid of spiritual truth. But there is some good music out there. But maybe some music can be a distraction to you, while other music helps you to theologically focus on Christ and enjoy him. I would say bail on the dumb stuff and get some music in your head that will be encouraging, not distracting. In these ways, I think we can gain some ground in laying aside distractions that keep us from running after Christ and cultivating hearts of patience.
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