Saturday, March 12, 2016
Dearly Beloved, KEEP GOING! “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV). I was touched by the life history of a visiting lecturer that was the main facilitator in a week-long intensive course on conflict resolution lessons where I do my postgraduate study. He was born and raised in one of the major violent conflict-affected areas in the world. According to him, because of his determination to be educated, he had to go to school in the midst of this violent conflict. One of the instructions that his mother used to give him every morning is, “No matter what you see or hear, do not look left or right, keep going!” This particular instruction kept him going in spite of the violence and effects of violence around him till he completed his education in that conflict-inflicted area. He recalled the incidents of bombings, killings, maiming of people around him including his contemporaries. However, in spite of these, because of his focus to be educated, his mother’s instruction every morning - “Keep going!” - kept him going. Today, he is an associate professor in one of the reputed universities in the world. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews gave a similar instruction. The early Hebrew Christians were surrounded by many persecutions. They were been distracted in their faith in Jesus Christ, and they contemplated going back to Judaism. Having highlighted the supremacy of Jesus Christ above the angels, the Mosaic Law, the Levitical priesthood, the sacrifices and offerings that are associated with the priesthood, and later the exploits of some men and women of faith, the writer advised his audience to keep going by fixing their eyes on Jesus Christ who was their focus. Jesus was saying similar thing when He told someone that wanted to follow Him with divided attention: "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62 NIV). Keep going! This instruction is very relevant for anyone that wants to succeed in life. No matter what may be going on around you, keep going! Be focused! Do not let anything distract you from your goal. Victory is yours in Jesus’ name. Amen. As Christian, do not be distracted with anything in this world from following Jesus Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, NOT these distractions, even if they seem to be good. In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Point: Lord, help me to keep going in spite of the distracting situation around me.