Christmas - Joy - Day 20

Opening Prayer: 

Father, allow me to clear my mind of anything that would interfere with what it is you have to say in these verses. I thank you for this time together and pray that I will hear everything as you intend and that I will be filled with you spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 Read: Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV

“1 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, 2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”


Yesterday’s reference was to that of preparing for an extreme race and the joy associated with finally reaching the event. Today we can make a very similar reference. However, the joy here is found in the completion of the race. As an ultra-marathoner, I had to cast aside those things that could easily distract me and take me away from “running the good race”. I had to get up when I wanted to sleep. I had to order a salad when I wanted a cheeseburger. I had to keep moving when I wanted to stop. I had to endure the challenges and setbacks. I was able to persevere because my eyes were fixed on the finish line, even before I could actually see it. I knew the feelings of victory that were awaiting as long as I “focused on the finish”. Every step I took was a step closer to the prize that awaited me, and in that was my joy.


Identify the things that make you stumble…pride, impatience, lust, anger, ego, attitude, alcohol, certain people/family members and cast them aside; get rid of them. Anything that gets in your way or is a stumbling block in your path to eternity with Jesus, remove it. Sit down with pen and paper, take an inventory, and act. Give a copy of your list to someone you want to see in heaven and ask them to keep you accountable.  

Closing Prayer: 

Father, give me the strength, courage, and determination to dismiss the things from my life that keep me from you. Bless me with eyes to see your kingdom in the distance that I will always stayed focused on the finish line. Bless me with the peace and joy knowing what awaits me in eternity; a seat beside you with your other son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s in His name I pray, Amen.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity: Pay for the person behind you in the drive through.

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Terry Schneider