Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Youth is to be with the creator.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..
This passage is a particular relevance for youth. Our youths have amazing opportunity with full of hope and boundless possibilities. But this is also a time where some youth are full of worry and fear; they may believe that their future is not so bright. Regardless of how one perceives their future, it is also evident that in youth we find an ideal window of time to begin to shape who you are. Here in Hebrews chapter 12 are some kernels of truth that are relevant for youths. First, and importantly, God is letting us know, from the beginning, that we are not alone in this race of life that He has set before us. In fact, we have had many before us as models for the Christian race and we have Jesus ahead of us. We are never alone.
Second, the Greek word for “Race (or competition)” is Agon, from which we get the word agony. A race, particularly a very long one, is agony. It is not meant to be easy. Knowing this is important—don’t expect things to be quick and without effort. Third, as in any race- you want to shed off everything that may prevent you from running well. In the context of our Christian race, this may be anything—habits, behaviors, relationships, ideas, etc. What keeps you from running the race well? Fourth, let’s persevere in the race. Perseverance is continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. God is letting us know that we will in fact have difficulties; there will be times where we fail, BUT, we must continue our efforts. We must persevere.
Finally, let us accept discipline. No one would ever question the appropriateness (and the need) for parents to discipline their children. Similarly, a great friend is one who tries to find ways to further perfect in their friend important qualities and behaviors. God, who loves us more than we can ever imagine, wants to mold, shape and refine us. All of these efforts only come to fruition when a person accepts discipline. Many have come before us who have (successfully) run this race and we have Jesus who stands before us at the finish line. We should expect it to be difficult, so be prepared, shedding anything that gets in the way and accepting discipline that is born from love.
Prayer: God we pray for the wisdom to identify what is holding us back from running this Christian race, the courage to shed those things that hinder us, the perseverance to work through all the struggles that lay ahead, and the ability to accept discipline, no matter how difficult it may feel.
Thought for the day: Youths are runners in the Christian race.
Dr. Anil Chacko, Long Island Mar Thoma Church, NY.
Theme of the week - Youth: a time to be with the Creator