Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
“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, 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.”
-The above scriptures paint a picture of a games or sport with a great multitude of spectators usually occupied the circular seats in the amphitheater, from which they could easily behold the combatants. In a race, all participants run but only one gets the main price. In this race, we find challenges of fitness, health, distractions, disappointments, that limit the participants from running effectively and finishing well. In the race of life we are faced with many diverse challenges including temptations and sin that easily ensure us, and other life issues. The good thing is that we have the solution that will enable us to finishing well. We are called to look to Christ, who Himself ran His own race and completed successfully. We are reminded to put our hope and faith in Him for He is faithful to take us though every obstacle and challenge, and set us free so that we may finish our course well.
Lord Jesus You are worthy, You are able, You deserve all the glory honor and praise. You are the King of kings, You are the Lord of lords, You are our God in whom we put our trust. You are highly exalted above every other name. At Your name Jesus, every knee should bow in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ You are Lord, to the glory of God the Father. You are worthy dear Lord Jesus and You are faithful, thank You for loving us. May You help us and enable us to run our race with perseverance and courage. May You deliver us from every obstacle and sin that so easily ensnare us. May You set us free together with our families, our children, our colleagues, and our entire nation. May You set us free and deliver us from every evil loving Savior. May You forgive us all our sins and trespasses, and cleanse us with Your precious blood. We look to You for guidance, protection, healing, provision, preservation, and Your sure salvation. We look to You Jesus in everything that we are, all that we have and all that we will ever need. All our hope and trust is in You dear Jesus. Amen
Further reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24, 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Daniel 4:34-37 NKJV
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, “What have You done?” At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”
-Nebuchadnezzar prided himself in having built the greatest kingdom, the Babylonian empire. He built a statue of himself and demanded that all must worship it. The Lord punished him and in his pride he was reduced to eating grass like an ox, with claws like that of a bird and hair like an eagles feather (Daniel 4:33). Probably Nebuchadnezzar was stricken by a rare mental condition known as boanthropy, which causes its victims to assume the appearance, habits and posture of cattle. When he came back to his senses, he looked to the heavens and realized that indeed our Lord Jesus is the Most High God and His kingdom is everlasting, and he was restored.
We bless Your name dear Lord Jesus Most High God. We praise You and honor You Lord who lives forever. Your dominion is everlasting and Your kingdom is from generation to generation. Your majesty is forever and Your reign is everlasting. We look up to You Jesus with humility in our hearts. May You deliver us, our children and society from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. May You fill our hearts with love for You dear Jesus and our neighbors as ourselves. May You reign and take over Jesus. May You do a new thing in our lives. May You heal all those who are sick among us and deliver them from all their distress. May You deliver all the street families from their troubles. May You hear all our prayers and answer our hearts desires. All glory, honor, power and wisdom belongs to You Lord, now and forever. Amen
Further reading: James 4:10, 1 John 2:15-17
Psalms 123:1-3 NKJV
“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt.”
-The Psalmist discloses that those who are filled with contempt are arrogant and proud. Some rely on their power, wealth, wisdom, wit, fame and strength, and pour contempt on those who humbly rely on God. Just like Jesus who looked up to heaven in recognition of His source of supply (John 17:1), the psalmist sets an example for us in looking to God as a helping hand. Looking to Jesus sets us up on a path of confidently relying on God as our Helper and Source of life and life forever more. Amen
Dear Lord Jesus You are our God, we adore You and lift Your name on high. You are the Bright morning Star, we bless Your name. How great are You Lord in all the heavens and the earth. We lift up our eyes to the hills from where comes our help. Our help comes from You Lord our God Creator of the heavens and the earth. You will not allow our feet to be moved; You who keep us will not slumber. We look to You Jesus our Source and Keeper, You are our shade at our right hand, may You have mercy upon us and grant us Your peace that surpasses all human understanding. You will not allow the sun to strike us by day, nor the moon by night. You will preserve us Lord from all evil; You shall preserve our souls. You shall keep us from the evil one. You continually sanctify us by Your truth, for Your word is truth dear Jesus. May Your mercy and peace, favor and grace, abound upon us, our families, homes, work, businesses, churches and nation. May You fill our hearts with humility and preserve our coming in and going out, from this time forth, and forevermore. Amen
Further reading: Psalms 121:1-8
Psalms 34:1-5 NKJV
“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.”
-King David was a worshipper, determined to praise and extoll the Lord constantly. He called the faithful to join him in magnifying the Lord. In his quest to draw near to God, he looked up to the Lord and was delivered from all his enemies and got an answer to his request. We are called to ascribe blessing, honor, praise, and glory to God, both as the God of nature and providence. We are called to praise God for His mercies that are new every morning, and at all times. To extol Him for His sufficient grace, and blessings which are irreversible and unchangeable.
We will sing always to You Lord our God and Your praise shall always on our lips. We extol You Lord Jesus and look to You each day. Your mercies are new every morning and Your grace is eternal. We worship You Lord and give all the glory. You have been faithful Lord, we glorify Your name. May You deliver us from all our enemies and save us. May You make every crooked path straight and walk with us. May You level the mountains and make a way in the desert for us to succeed in every area of our lives. May You remember all those who are waiting on You for marriages that You may make a way. May You the bless the work of our hands dear Jesus. May You grant peace to all the war torn nations of the world. We look to You Jesus and are radiant with confidence that we shall not be ashamed in any way. May You hear our prayers and answer our hearts desires. We praise You dear Jesus and worship You now and forever. Amen
Further reading: Psalm 71:15
Acts 1:10-11 NKJV
“And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
-The disciples remained with Jesus after His death and resurrection, before He was taken up to heaven. They thought He was going to restore the kingdom of Israel immediately, and bring cause deliverance of the people from foreign dominance and for establishment of an earthly kingdom, which Jesus said it was not their place to know the times or date. Jesus was taken up into heaven and a cloud covered Him revealing the glory of God. Then two men probably angels spoke to them reminding them of the second coming. As pilgrims in our progress in faith, we hope for the resurrection and eternal life with Christ.
To look means to direct one’s gaze and attention towards someone or something. Also to rely on or totally depend upon. It is vital to look to Jesus who is our Source and Help instead of relying on our own power, strength, wealth, fame and networks. When we look to Jesus, He can do what none of these things or gods can do (Psalms 123:1-3). King Nebuchadnezzar took pride un his wealth, honor and fame. He was humbled and when he looked into heaven, his understanding returned to him; he and blessed the Most High God, and praised Him (Daniel 4:34-37). Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, we are called to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). As Stephen was teaching the word of God, the listeners were convicted to sin and pierced by it. They were proud enough not to repent, their hearts were hardened and they dragged Stephen out of the city and stone him to death. Stephen looked to Jesus for comfort during persecution, and He saw Him and received the blessing of eternal life. Since we believe in Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him, let us live in hope knowing that even if we die we shall live, and if we do not die we will still see Him as He is, and live with Him forever.
Our Lord Jesus, You offered one sacrifice for our sins forever, and You are sitted at the right hand of God the Father, how are great are You in all the earth. Some trust in horses, others trust in chariots but we put our trust in You Lord our God. We look to You Lord our Source and our Strength. We look to You Jesus for Your mercy and grace. May You have mercy on us and all Your people and grant us the gift of eternal life. We look to You Jesus for deliverance from our tribulations. We look to You Jesus for knowing that Your purpose will prevail in our lives. We look to Jesus for salvation and eternal life together with our loved ones and You beloved people and nations. May You bless us and keep us dear Jesus. May You make Your face shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace in our hearts, families, nation and all the nations of the world. Amen
Further reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Hebrew 10:12