Hebrews 12.1-3 asks, 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. 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. 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! MSG

 

The key to finishing well in this Christian life is to stay focused on the eternal life to come. They key to finishing well in this Christian life is not to focus on comfort, ease, and accomplishment in this world but to focus on receiving God’s praise, approval, and reward in the next world. Difficulty from serving God, persecution from men for acknowledging Jesus, suffering for conviction of God’s truth, are badges of honor, are means for making us like Jesus, and are proof that we are in Him and He is in us.

 

As God Himself suffered while living among us as one of us from men who rejected Him as God and Savior, so too we must expect, we must welcome, and we must love through, those who will reject our message and way of life as we proclaim and model Jesus as God and Savior of the world. If we are not suffering for His Name’s sake are we trying very hard to make His Name known?

 

Calling all men to repentance and then obedience to the One True God will cause some to reject us, to ridicule us, and, if possible, to punish us, for not accepting the views and lifestyles of those who ignore God and refuse to obey His commands. This is how our God lived among us and how we are to live among men before our God.

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