Looking unto Jesus

Looking unto Jesus

Looking unto Jesus

William Stout / General

Hebrews 12:1–2

 

Looking unto Jesus

  • Victorious Christian Living
  • How to keep a victorious attitude –
  • Begins with looking unto Jesus

Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • So many people face trials every day
  • These trials come in many different shapes and sizes
  • Some of these trials may seem unbearable
  • It seems like to most common problems that people share with me fall into three main categories:
  1. financial problems
  2. health problems
  3. relationship problems
  • These seem to be the big “trial” areas that people face that can be overwhelming
  • when you don’t seem to have enough money to meet all your needs – (“Seem” being a keyword)
  • When you are facing sickness or pain in your body
  • When you are affected by relationships with others (Work, family, friends)
  • In fact, this may be the area that is easiest to lead us to sin
  • And then there are the trials that so many of us don’t recognize as trials:
  • the trial of our faith when we are not suffering
  • will we serve the Lord with so many competing suitors?
  • Will we reject the call of the Holy Spirit and heed the call of the flesh?
  • These things can war against our souls
  • So how do we keep these right thoughts, right attitudes, and continue to be more than a conqueror in these trials
  • By “Looking unto Jesus”

 

I. Look to Jesus in Everything

  • Many Christians are ready to look to Jesus when trouble strikes, but when everything is going well, they lean on their own finite strength and fail.

Acts 17:28 NKJV

28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

  • In Him, we live…
  • We must look to Jesus in everything—in good times as well as bad, in joy as well as sorrow, and in triumph as well as trial.
  • In the text at hand, we are referred to this great Cloud of witnesses from the previous chapter
  • these were people who had received great blessings and miracles, and many through great trial and difficulty
  • They all did this through faith – looking unto Him
  • The Scripture admonishes us to look to Jesus “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16)..

Hebrews 4:16 NKJV

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

II. Look to Jesus for Everything

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do” (John 14:13).

  • Some Christians do not depend on the Lord to supply all their needs.
  • They rely on self-effort and other people. They come to disappointment.
  • Of course, we are to use the talent, skills, and abilities God has given us diligently
  • But we look to Him for the increase – for the fulfillment
  • We should look to Jesus for life, love, food, clothing, and shelter—everything.
  • Do we look to Him first for our food, clothing shelter?
  • Do we look to Him first for our careers?
  • Do we look to Him first for our romance, love, relationship, and friendships?
  • We are promised ample supply for all our needs, “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Philippians 4:19 NKJV

19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

  • If we really believe this, are we looking to Him for all that we have need of?

III. Look to Jesus with Everything

“And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless” (1 Thess. 5:23).

  • It seems that so many of today’s Christians fail to totally look to Jesus.
  • They reserve a portion of their life for self.
  • I even recently heard of a Pastor who said He would follow Jesus on religious things, but would rather follow Farrakhan on civil rights and current affairs
  • This should not be surprising since so many churches today have “self” at the center of their gospel
  • It seems like so much preaching is really about what is known as secular humanism –
  • the ideas of universalism and self-help coaching
  • where the end of the message – the point, is how to have your best life now, be a better you, etc.
  • Never be offended by a church, never feel judged or rejected, etc.
  • You can walk away thinking that you are the center of God’s universe – some preachers will even say that
  • It is really all about Jesus – He must have the preeminence!
  • If we’re to be victorious, we must look to Jesus with everything—time, talent, and treasure. We must be totally dedicated to him.
  • Solomon tried to find fulfillment outside of this, he found it all to be vanity
  • Paul urged us to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Rom. 12:1).

Romans 12:1 NKJV

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

  • Fiends this may seem counter-intuitive, but somehow, living as a sacrifice, is more victorious than living for self
  • when the sacrifice is for Jesus
  • Living as a sacrifice results in greater gain than living for selfish gain
  • Living as a sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him, will prove to you to be your best way of life – looking unto Him

IV. Look to Jesus Through Everything

“After that ye have suffered a while … stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

  • Some Christians do look to Jesus during happy times but complain and even blame God when suffering strikes.
  • So many people reject Jesus forever because of a few moments of disappointment
  • Yet we should know that He told us before – In this life, ye shall have tribulations
  • How very sad it is for those people – If they would just have run with patience …
  • God often allows suffering to strengthen our faith and fulfill his purpose.
  • We must continue to look to Jesus and seek his purpose with patience and trust, especially in times of trials
  • When we are sick – we need to look to Jesus through it
  • You will either get well or get to go home – If you are looking to Him
  • When we are suffering lack – look to Jesus through it
  • He knows what you are facing – it will end, and you will be fed
  • When your marriage is struggling – look to Jesus through it
  • Oh how differently so many marriages would be if we all did that indeed
  • When traveling through valley experiences, Peter advised, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 4:13).

1 Peter 4:12–13 NKJV

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;

13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad about exceeding joy.

  • Rejoice – and look to Jesus “through” it
  • You are not alone
  • “when” His glory is revealed (this is temporary)
  • You also will be glad with exceeding Joy!
  • So, Look Unto Jesus
  • in everything
  • For everything
  • With everything
  • Through Everything

Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

 

 

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