Text: Hebrews 12:1-4
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
Key Verse: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
The legend of Achilles has it that he was dipped into the River Styx by his mother, Thetis, in order to make him invulnerable. His heel wasn’t covered by the water and he was later killed by an arrow wound to his heel. Although the legend is ancient, the phrase ‘Achilles heels’ wasn’t picked up in English until the 19th century. It is used as a metaphor for vulnerability. For Christians, besetting sins make us vulnerable.
From the text, Paul encouraged believers to lay aside every weight pulling them back from running the race successfully and remove the sin that they are most prone to in order to make progress in their spiritual lives. He recommended that they focus their attention on Christ and be ready to resist temptations even at the pain of death.
Many people today are out of the race because they do not know how to handle some stubborn sins to which they had a strong attachment. It becomes their own Achilles heel. The sin of immorality, pride, unbelief or drunkenness could fall into this category along with a host of others that space will not allow us to mention. The exhortation here is that we stop cherishing and caressing the sin. Instead, we should lay it aside and focus on Christ our Example. Otherwise, the sin you allow today will destroy you tomorrow.
No matter how small a snake is, it retains that venom that can take your life. Those believers who have been deceived by modern-day hyper-grace preachers who encourage especially young people to remain in sin because grace covers them, should closely examine today’s passage and amend their ways before it is too late. Do not leave your vulnerable heel exposed; have it dealt with.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God has zero tolerance for sin.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Hosea 1-4