Can you believe that school is almost over, and summer is almost here? What an exciting time of year! We know it can become a challenge to give our full attention to our school assignments and responsibilities when we are distracted by the anticipation of fun summer adventures.
Around this time of year, teachers and parents begin to give the usual end-of-the-year advice: “Stay focused and finish strong.” Although we may tire of hearing words like these (especially when we just want it to be summer!), it is still truly great advice— not only for finishing the end of the school year, but for our walks with Christ, as well.
As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are only on this Earth for a short while before we spend eternity with Jesus in a beautiful place called Heaven. While are are here on Earth, our calling is to do God’s will. His hope is for us to spread His love by staying anchored in His Word and spreading the powerful truths found there to those around us, with our words and actions. Let’s take a look at Hebrews:
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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.”
As believers, we have those outside the faith observing our actions and attitudes often. Although we will never be perfect, we must challenge ourselves to live each day as ambassadors for Jesus. Even if we never have the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus’ love with words, living our lives to honor Him is a way to make Him known by those in our lives.
As Hebrews 12:1 tells us, witnesses are all around, and they look to Christians to paint an example of Jesus. It’s our job to remain strong in our faith and to cast aside the temptations that can trip us up and entangle us in sin.
That sounds like a big task, doesn’t it? God doesn’t expect us to do it on our own. Like we saw in the March Scripture Graphic Inspiration this week, Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior.” No one is more powerful than our Savior, and He is on our side. How encouraging is that truth? Hebrews 1:3 also tells us that He knows exactly what we’re facing at any given time: “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Jesus faced trials and hardships on Earth, and he his perfect love is there for us when we are going through our own.
As long as we lean on His Word and remember that He is with us in everything we experience, we can be encouraged to keep honoring God and lean into His grace when we may fall short. It is better to fail on mission with Jesus than to simply not participate in the redemptive, though oftentimes difficult, work He has set before us. Looking back at Hebrews 12:2, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He shares His all-powerful victory with us on Earth and in Heaven because we are His children. A deep, meaningful relationship with Him while we’re on Earth is followed by eternity in Heaven with Him— what a perfect prize! So, whether you’re growing tired at the end of the school year or feeling more energized than ever, stay focused on what really matters - the ultimate prize waiting for you when you run the race of life with Jesus leading the way. We are always victorious through Christ, Kanakuk family!
One of the ways we can stay focused in running our race is acknowledging the many distractions of this world. Joe White, President of Kanakuk Kamps, encourages us with this message explaining the value of taking intentional time away from technology distractions to be all that God created us to be and to run our race well while fixing our eyes on Jesus. Check it out for more encouragement!