Keep our eyes on Jesus

(Written by Pastor Kevin Haislip and re-printed with permission by 2 Timothy 4:5. Pastor Haislip is a CMA Affiliate)

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12: 2,3   New American Standard

 

To anyone who has been heavily involved in ministry to people and are betrayed by those they sought to sacrificially serve, this passage is particularly relevant. 

 

Anyone who has ever served others knows the phrase “No good deed goes unpunished.”  A good friend referred me to an article in the Wall Street Journal about 2 women in Minnesota who determined to help a family devastated by hurricane Katrina in September 2005.  At their invitation, they took a family into their home, clothed and fed them from their own stores, helped raise money to get the family back on their feet, only to find the family harshly critical, deceitful, and ungrateful.  The sad part came at the end of the story when one of the women said, ”I just wanted to help someone. I think Dot and Nicole [the family] just weren’t ready for it.” Tracey says, “We’ve busted our buns. I won’t help anyone for the rest of my life. I won’t put my family through it.”

 

Jesus calls His children to be quick to forgive, and quick to love our neighbors.  For the one who would consider themself a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must look to our Lord for direction.  Anything He calls us to, we could very likely endure harsh criticism, rebuke, betrayal, and ungrateful attitudes.  It doesn’t matter how many times someone betrays our good intentions, our call is to forgive, and love, and sacrificially serve. 

 

If we shrink from helping others simply because of the painful possiblilities/probabilities, we have missed seeing a greater side to the love our Lord freely gives us.  And while pain hurts, His comfort, and His healing touch is awesome to behold.  And what is even more awesome is to see HOW God brings about His glory from that sacrifice.  People are saved.  Illness is healed.  The blind are given sight and the deaf their hearing.  The outcast is brought into full fellowship and the lame are made to walk.  The dead are raised.

 

While Jesus hung on the cross, bearing the sin of mankind, most of mankind was standing before the cross mocking and ridiculing Him.  The soldiers that He was dying for spat on Him, whipped Him till the flesh was ripped off His body and drove His broken body to carry it’s own heavy wooden death sentence.  And in love, He cries out to His Father to forgive them, for they do not know what they do.  The world, AND OUR LIVES, were changed because of it.  We were healed, even if we didn’t even know we were broken and dead.  This is a powerful passage for the believer.

 

GOD loves US!   For the joy of our redemption, He endured the cross, the hostility by sinners against Himself. 

 

The beginning and end of this passage bring particular clarity for us then.  In the middle of our sacrificial service toward others as He has lead us, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus!  For in doing this, we will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

It is for His love, His forgiveness and God’s redemption of others that we do what we do.  And His grace will be accomplished in our lives, and those He has lead us to serve.

Written by:
Pastor Kevin Haislip
Waxahachie TX
2 Timothy 4:5 CMA

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