Real Talk: Who Has my Heart?
“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.” Hebrews 12:1-2
The writer of Hebrews describes the believer’s life as a race. Not as a 40-yard dash with few obstacles; but more like a marathon with the obstacles of a steeple chase thrown in. Our lives require endurance, perseverance, and a spiritual alertness to the hindrances and obstacles, not only of life in a fallen world, but also those specific distractions and “every weight” of our own lives—those deeply rooted entanglements and sin that are unique to one’s own heart. With each new day, the writer of Hebrews encourages us to ask, “Does Jesus have my heart today?”
Scripture teaches, even for the Christian, we will either be a disciple of Christ, or a disciple of the world. A disciple is a follower, one who learns to live like the one he follows. Disciples take up the ways of their disciple-maker. The gospels are a great resource for helping us understand that disciples are foremost worshipers; worshipers who serve and give witness to the one they follow. As I run this difficult race, my worship will reveal who is discipling me. Worship is to value and treasure in one’s heart the object of one’s worship, leading ultimately to an outward expression of what we treasure. If we’re discipled by the world, we will look very different than if Jesus has our hearts.
Our times are filled with a list of important issues that rightfully have our attention—an election, fighting a deadly virus, racial justice—now the selection of a Supreme Court Justice. The challenges we face today help us to recognize if Jesus has our hearts, or if we’re being discipled by the world. As believers, how we run the race that is set before us doesn’t change with the circumstances of the day. The work of the follower of Christ remains the same: worship Him with all our heart; lay aside every weight and entanglement of the world, and the sin that clings so closely; run the race looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.
Father, help us to recognize the importance and weight of the issues of our day through the eyes of Christ—in our understanding of the issue, but also in our actions toward one another and the world in addressing the issue. As followers—worshipers—of Christ, create in us hearts that speak your wisdom, and actions that imitate and point to the one we follow. Protect the unity of your church, and use us and the issues of our day to make Jesus known. Amen!
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