Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"What Do You Need to Lay Aside?"

Dear Shepastor Friends,
As we leave 2010 and prepare to enter 2011, let us heed the words of the Hebrew writer that declared…

Hebrews 12: 1-3

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.

I invite you to consider the following…

In Hebrews 12:1-3, the anonymous writer, after having given great encouragement through the “Hall of Faith,” (Hebrews 11) writes, “seeing we are surrounded by this great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us …" As we enter 2011, I’d like to suggest that there are some things we don’t need to carry into the New Year.

In the movie, “City Slickers” actors Billy Crystal, Jack Polance, and some others set out to experience the life of cattle ranchers in the 20th century. Billy Crystal was a “city slicker,” not knowing the first thing about “roughing it,” herding cattle, driving cattle, riding horses, enduring the hot sun with a leather vest and some cowboy boots with spurs!

On one of their journeys, Billy Crystal gets some advice from an experienced Cowboy – Jack Pollance who said to him, “Always remember this one thing…” And he held up his pointer finger, symbolizing, “one.” Billy Crystal looked at him baffled and perplexed and asked, “What one thing?” Jack Pollance responded, “that’s for you to figure out…”

What “one thing” do you need to remember? What priority has taken a back seat that you need to bring to the front line in your life? Sometimes we can’t get to the one thing because our lives are so cluttered with things that we need to lay aside. So often we lose our focus on the “one thing” that the Lord has called us to do, gifted us to do, prepared us to do because of the things we allow to burden us down, shackle our feet and keep us from running the race with patience and grace.

Unbelief, fear, anxiety and worry will not only defeat you, but will rob you of entering your promised land. In 2011, the Lord is saying to somebody, "I've got some blessings for you, but in order for you to get them, you've got to lay fear aside, you've got to lay anger aside. You've got to lay resentment aside. You've got to lay worry aside. I've got great blessings for you, if you will lay aside "every weight" and trust Me!"

Don’t let the demons of fear, worry, self-doubt, low self-esteem, old belittling voices in your head, resentment, anger, hostility and yes, even hatred – don’t let those demons keep you shackled. As you enter 2011 lay it all aside. Step out on faith – Ask the Lord to reveal His will and purpose for your life and then pursue it. Be bold and walk with your head held high, pressing towards the mark with victory. Lay aside every and anything that is hindering you from running the race which God has ordained for your life.

May you and yours have a blessed, peaceful, Holy Spirit led and “shackle free” New Year!

Post a comment or send me an email at

Until next Wednesday,
In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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