Looking Unto Jesus (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Hebrews 12:1 – 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,

The “great cloud of witnesses” are the Old Testament believers talked about in Hebrews chapter 11. The witness of these believers was their faith, their positive believing faith in the coming of Jesus Christ that even today can be seen throughout the Bible. When studying the life of David for instance, we can see how he looked forward to the coming of his Redeemer, his Lord and Savior. We can discover the struggle he had against his sin nature to walk uprightly before his God and his human weakness in being just a man who tried to walk with God to the best of his abilities. We can see how David failed when he did not look to Jesus, but more important is that we can see him succeed whenever he believed God’s Word. These believers from the Old Testament were witnesses leaving us vivid examples of how to look to Jesus as they themselves did. “The race that is set before us” is to look to the finish line, it is to look to Jesus, for in him and with him is our continued access to God our heavenly Father, His grace, and His praise.

Hebrews 12:2 – 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 {now} set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Amplified Bible* reads Hebrews 12:2 as: “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 {believing faith’s} 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.” Today we can look to Jesus Christ and rely on his faith, his believing faith and receive his assurance that he is for us the author and finisher of our own believing faith. The word “author” means princely leader, the first and foremost. The word “finisher” means to bring to full maturity, to the complete end. Thus, the author and finisher of our believing faith is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is first and the last, the alpha and omega, the author and giver of our desire to have his believing faith in our lives; he is the first and the last, completing and perfecting our own believing faith. This is what we may expect to receive by “looking unto Jesus” rather than looking to our own abilities or our own strength.

Acts 4:11-12:
-11:  This {Jesus Christ} is the stone which was set at nought {rejected} of you builders, which is become the head of the corner {of the spiritual Church and family of God Himself}.
-12:  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Today we have the blessed privilege to accept within our own heart the believing faith of Jesus Christ, who has been completely perfected in us through his believing actions that he took to his cross for us. We can believe on him and rely on his strength, as we continue “looking unto Jesus” throughout the revealed Word and will of God. When we look to Jesus, we will find the true spiritual presence and presents that God gives; this is the daily joy that He now sets before us.

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE. The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

The Word of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once God’s healing Word begins to permeate our hearts, and our thoughts begin to reflect that which is written in the Scriptures, then we will begin realizing that we have indeed received the actual Word of life from the heart of God. Paul said in Philippians:

Philippians 2:12 – Wherefore, my brethren, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

The believers were obedient to the Word of life, irrespective of whether Paul was there personally watching over them, because the Word itself began to uplift them. The Word of God was changing them from the inside, out, for God’s Word is pure (Psalm 12:6). The word “salvation” does not relate to our already God-given salvation, but rather salvation means to be made spiritually whole and entire. The Word of life freely gives to us inner spiritual completeness as we continue to accept it with a believing heart that they are God’s words. The words “fear and trembling” literally means to have reverent respect for the Word of life, and to become obedient to the words that will bring our hearts closer and closer to God’s heart.  We become ever more connected to our heavenly Father and His Word of life proportionally to our inner respect and obedience from belief of the Scriptures. Verse twelve shows us what we can do for ourselves, while verse thirteen (below), shows us what God can and has done for us, giving to us not fear and trembling, but good pleasure to walk hand in hand with our Savior and with our heavenly Father.

Philippians 2:13 – For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

One way that God works within us is through His words that we have placed within our minds. God works via two specific avenues. The first way is to help us have the “will” to do His good pleasure and since God designed life and gave us freedom of will – His words in our mind can be the inspiration and energy of our wills. The second way is that God also gives us the spiritual ability “to do” that which will give both God and us glory and “good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:14-16a:
-14:  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
-15:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke {from God}, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
-16a:  Holding forth the word of life;

To do “all things without murmurings and disputings” is a great way to live, for we need not have any fear as we daily walk before our heavenly Father. We are totally “blameless and harmless” before His loving eyes. Indeed, we are the “sons of God” and although we live in a spiritually perverse society, we today do “shine as lights in the world.” In the Scriptures the word “sons” is an all-inclusive noun for male and female. Then, God’s Word shows us a wonderful privilege, and that is: that we may enjoy a completeness within our own hearts, and walk within the good pleasure of the words of God that are both light and life, and they are freely given to us to share one with another.