Vertical Conversations - Your Daily Forward Devotional
Read Hebrews 12:1-2
"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."
How do we run with endurance?
Dr. Henrietta C. Mears was a brilliant scholar who wasn't known for mincing words. When it came to our most important relationship--connecting intimately with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ--she had a way of cutting through all the wordy theologies and complicated doctrines, and she got right to the heart of what we must do: "If we are going to know the Bible, we must give time to it and arrange for it. We must adjust our lives so that time is made. Unless we do, we shall never come into any worthy knowledge of the Word."
Years ago, I determined to stop making excuses and to start making time. The more I grow in my journey, the more sensitive I become to the challenging days we live in. I feel an urgency to keep my relationship with Jesus on solid footing. Now more than ever we all need to hear from God and draw closer to Him. Lukewarm spirituality just doesn't cut it. Actually, lukewarm and spiritual can't possibly go together--they're like oil and water. Christ-followers are either on the path with their Savior, or they've left the journey altogether. (There's no in-between.) And only those "who know their God will be strong and do exploits for Him" (Daniel 11:32b KJV). The Bible is the key to get us growing each day ... yet engaging it is anything but easy.
When I first launched into the Scriptures, I quickly became aware that the Enemy himself was using any means he could find to discourage me and to block my efforts (John 8:44, Revelation 12:10). He tried everything from tripping me up with time-wasters (TV, movies, frivolous shopping) to negative emotions (fear, worry, insecurities). He'd even pull up old wounds and past sins, causing me to question my ability to follow Christ. The key? As today's passage tells us, run with endurance. God runs the race with us, encouraging us every step of the way.
Lord, help me to be in your Word daily. Help me to run with endurance. Amen.
 Dr. Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible Is All About (Ventura, Calif.: Regal © 1998), 21
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