In the ancient Olympic Games, they didn’t give out gold, silver, and bronze medals like they do with the winners today. Rather, they would crown their victors with laurel leaves.
So if you were running a race and nearing the end, you could see the emperor standing there with a crown of laurel leaves that he was waiting to place on the winner’s head.
I remember when I was in track and field in high school. I hated to go to practice, but if there was a pretty girl who happened to be watching, it always helped me run faster.
In the race of life, however, we have a better motive. Jesus himself is watching us. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV).
The literal meaning of “looking unto Jesus” is turning your eyes away from other things and fixing them on Him. In fact, if you’re really focused on something, then everything else becomes somewhat blurry in comparison.
The same is true when you’re using a camera. You focus on your subject and get it dialed in, and that obscures other things. You blur out other elements so the subject stands out.
That’s what looking to Jesus means. It’s putting Him first and filling your mind with the Word of God. That can help you get through whatever hardship or difficulty you’re going through.
We need to look to Jesus, because He’s always been looking out for us. We need to live for Him, because He died for us.
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