Summary: To run the race of faith you need to fix your eyes on Jesus and remember that He is our AUTHOR, our PERFECTOR and our ENCOURAGER.
FIX YOUR EYES
Early on the morning of Feb. 17, 1994 James Rich got into his new twin engine Piper Seneca airplane at an airport near Louisville, KY. The plan was to make a 30 minute flight to Crossville, TN to visit a friend. But he hadn't slept much the night before. So as his plane left the runway he was pretty tired. After climbing to 3,500 feet he put the plane on automatic pilot. Then he went to sleep. When he woke up -- three hours later -- he was in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico 200 miles from land -- and he was running out of fuel. The engine sputtered, then crashed into the Gulf. The plane sank in 45 seconds. Rich -- who could not swim -- was pulled under by the undertow. The only thing that saved him was two discount-store cushions he clutched under his arms. When they found him he was alive, embarrassed, minus one $70,000 uninsured airplane, and still holding those two cheap cushions under his arms. There are times in life when you can feel like that guy. You are on your way but asleep at the wheel. You have no clear sense of vision or direction in life.
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Like most sports, running involves keeping your eyes open and fixed on where you are going. Have you ever tried running by looking at your feet or looking behind you? It does not work very well because you can't see where you are going. The same is true in our faith. In order to be and do what the Lord wants us to we need to keep the proper focus:
If you want to be distressed -- look within.
If you want to be defeated -- look back.
If you want to be distracted -- look around.
If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead.
If you want to be delivered -- look up!
Psalms 25:15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Jesus understood this principle well. He knew the power of proper focus. The night before he went to the cross we see that he understood this principle:
Joh 13:1-3 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
Jesus understood that He had come from God and that He was returning to God. He knew where He had come from and where He was going. How about you? Do you understand this truth as well?
1. Our AUTHOR – who am I
The word used here is ARCHEGOS which comes from the word ARCHE which means “beginning” and AGO which means “to lead”. Together they mean a person who “takes the lead, acts an example, a predecessor or pioneer”.
Jesus is our author which means we are His creation. Books do not write themselves. They are born in the heart and mind of their author. God created us. Jesus was with us at the starting line and put us into this race.
Many people today struggle with self-worth. This is because it is in our nature to compare ourselves with the people we see around us. This starts when we are just children. From the moment we enter school we begin comparing our abilities with others. In school you are graded and judged by your performance and you are taught to measure yourself against the abilities of others.
This has nothing to do with worth. We have worth and value not because of what we have done but because of who we are in God's sight. You are valuable to God because you are His creation. He has made you! Your value is based on who you are and not what you have done. There is nothing you can ever do to make God love you anymore than He already does and there is nothing you can ever do that will make God love you any less.