Keep Your Eyes on Jesus
1. THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL DEFEAT
A) Victorious Runner
B) Virtuous Runner
2. THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL DISTRACTION
A) Personal Race
B) Public Race
3. THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL DISCOURAGEMENT
A) Faithful Life
B) Focused Life
The great golfer Arnold Palmer recalled the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament. He told of how he had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. He felt he was in pretty good shape. As he approached his ball, he saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned Palmer over, stuck out his hand and said, "Congratulations." Palmer took his hand and shook it, but as soon as he did, he knew he had lost my focus. On his next two shots, he hit the ball into a sand trap, and then put it over the edge of the green. He missed a putt and lost the Masters. Palmer said, "You don't forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven't in the 30 years since."
All the failures in the Christian life can be traced to losing our focus or taking our eyes off Jesus. On different occasions in the book of Hebrews the writer speaks to us about keeping our eyes on Jesus. We read in Hebrews 3:1, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." The word "consider" means "to observe fully." The ideal is to fix and keep your eyes on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.
In our text, Hebrews 12:1-2, the writer speaks to us of the importance of keeping our eyes on Jesus. He admonishes us to keep, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." The word "looking" speaks of "looking away to Jesus" and carries the idea of fixing your eyes on Jesus.
The writer speaks of Jesus as the pioneer of our faith. The word "author" is archegos and suggests such concepts as "leader," "originator," "founder" and "pioneer." The term was used for those who cut a path for their followers. The word is translated "Captain of our salvation" in Hebrews 2:10. As the pioneer of our faith, Jesus is the originator of our salvation and has cut the trail that we are to follow. As the author of our faith we are to keep our eyes upon Him.
The writer also speaks of Jesus as the perfecter of our faith. He is not only the author of our faith; He is also the finisher of our faith. The Lord Jesus is both the originator and consummator of our faith. What He started He will finish. He not only cut a path for us to follow, but will also lead us every step home. As we follow Him we must keep our eyes on Him.
As we look at our text I want us to notice what happens when we take our eyes off Jesus. The writer takes the picture of a runner running in a race and certain dangers that are faced if we take our eyes off Jesus.
First, taking our eyes off Jesus is:
1. THE SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL DEFEAT ...
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