Most days, I do personal Bible study in the morning. I like to get a fresh insight, a takeaway for the day. But one day this past winter I was looking for my daily takeaway and came up really empty. Why was there nothing new today ? How could spending time in the Bible, God’s word, seem so fruitless ?
Outside it was windy and frostbitingly cold, one of those subzero windchill days. Our Ice Age outside led to my feeling a bit of cabin fever inside. I started to feel worldly and aimless. I lost confidence that a project that I was to turn in soon would be any good. In addition, I had binged on a show on Netflix, which initially hooked me, but then seemed to grow sillier the more of it I watched. Was I just wasting time ?
This frustration led to giving me my takeaway for any day where there is not a takeaway : Sometimes I just need a personal reminder that Jesus is truth and love!
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1b,2a,3)
Jesus faced opposition. Sometimes we feel drained because we are facing opposition too; but other times we get weary without feeling any opposition at all.
To refresh us, let’s zero in on one word from today’s verses. Here’s your Greek for today : Aphorōntes. This single Greek word is translated in our Bibles as “fixing our eyes on Jesus.”
Aphorontes means taking our eyes off of one thing and looking at a different thing instead. We might be focusing on a variety of things other than Jesus—we might be worried about an endless to-do list ; we might be binging on Netflix ; or obsessing about a grievance we have with someone. So today’s exhortation asks us to look away from our improper focus ….and look towards Jesus.
Jesus says he is the way and the truth and the life. And this is not just a fact that we know in our heads. Because as we fix our eyes on him, then through the power of the Spirit, Jesus dwells inside us — giving us warm, personal assurance that he really does love us and doesn’t want us to feel weary and lose heart. When Jesus comes alive in us like that, the day does not seem so blah after all !