"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, look¬ing unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame."?XHEB. xii. 1. 2. R. V.
In running a race the eye and heart are ever set upon the goal and the prize. The Christian is here called to keep his eye fixed on Jesus enduring the cross, as the one object of imitation and desire. In our whole life we are ever to be animated by His Spirit as He bore the cross. This was the way that led to the throne and the glory of God. This is the new and living way which He opened for us through the veil of the flesh. It is as we study and realize that it was for His bearing the cross that God so highly exalted Him, that we shall walk in His footsteps bear¬ing our cross after Him with the flesh condemned and crucified.
The impotence of the Church is greatly owing to the fact that this cross-bearing mind of Jesus is so little preached and practised. Most Christians think, that as long as they do not commit actual sin, they are at liberty to possess and enjoy as much of the world as they please. There is so little insight into the deep truth that the world, and the flesh that loves the world, is enmity against God. Hence it comes that many Christians seek and pray for years for conformity to the image of Jesus, and yet fail so en¬tirely. They do not know, they do not seek with the whole heart to know, what it is to die to self and the world.
It was for the joy set before Him that Christ endured the cross?Xthe joy of pleasing and glorifying the Father, the joy of loving and winning souls for Himself. We have indeed need of a new crusade with the proclamation: This is the will of God, that as Christ found His highest happiness, and received from the Father the fulness of the Spirit to pour down on His people, through His endurance of the cross, so it is only in our fellowship of the cross that we can really become conformed to the image of God's Son. As believers awake to this blessed truth, and run the race ever looking to the crucified Jesus, they will receive power to win for Christ the souls He has purchased on the cross.
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