Lay Aside the Weight – Hebrews 12:1-3

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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While training for athletic competition in high school, the coach had us strap weights to our ankles. Then we ran laps, ran the bleachers in the gym, and even wrestled one another. The extra weight made our legs feel much heavier and slowed us down. But when we were allowed to take the weights off, it was amazing how light our legs felt and how much faster we could move!

Hebrews 12:1-2 urged the Jewish believers: “…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, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith….” What kinds of things were weighing down these Jewish believers? Some had become “dull of hearing” when it came to listening to the teaching of God’s Word (Hebrews 5:11). Some had lost their interest in spiritual things. Their salvation had lost its luster, and, perhaps, like Demas, the lure of worldly things had stolen their affections. They were being urged to lay these things aside and get on track with walking with the Lord. Others may have been ill influenced by too much contact with “scoffers” (II Peter 3:3), who walked “after their own lust,” denied divine creation, and ridiculed the promises of eternal life. In any age, it is foolishness to spend very much time with those who reject a genuine interest in the Lord or ridicule the fundamentals of our faith. They will slowly choke the spiritual life out of sincere believers. Apparently, some were once bold in their witness but had grown discouraged when persecutions came. They were told: “… think it not strange concerning the fiery trial…as though some strange thing happened unto you” (I Peter 4:12). Clearly, there were also those practicing sin that had dulled their spiritual senses and chilled their heart to Christ. All these people were urged to strip off their particular weight that they too “might obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35). They, as we, were to be motivated to a higher walk by remembering how much Christ had “endured” for them (Hebrews 12:3), and be empowered by “…looking unto Jesus…” for their strength (vs. 2).

Dear believer, do you have a sinful weight that is making it harder for you to run the daily race of life for Christ in a way that honors Him? Whatever it is, lay it aside today “…lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (vs. 3).

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."