March 11, 2021

Jesus Will Help you Lose Weight!

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 4:17-32

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us—Hebrews 12:1-2

The first thing that might come to mind when we read today’s heading is can Jesus really help us lose those unwanted pounds? Can he help us shed those extra pounds that weigh us down? If so, sign me up!

I read an article that asked people if they could get rid of two things right now what would they be. The top answers were face masks and those extra pounds they had picked up during the pandemic. Well, we still need the face masks for a while in order to stay safe and healthy, but for those who have picked up some extra pounds what a relief it would be to shed them; they are not needed, cumbersome and unhealthy!

Like Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, the writer of Hebrews takes a spiritual  slant on shedding and getting rid of weight. He is not talking about physical weight but those things that weigh us down which fall into the emotional, attitude, and spiritual realm. Those things we carry around that become heavy and unnecessary baggage in our life cart.

Sin is weighty, a heavy burden to carry. Baggage that only pulls us down and keeps us back from the joy of living a restored life through Christ. Notice how the writer of Hebrews says let us lay aside every weight AND sin that clings closely to us. We are forgiven sinners, bearing the righteousness of Christ but on this side of heaven we still have much to contend constantly, daily and are challenged to let go of, lay aside the things that are sin and are not sin. Those things and issues that seek to cling to us like the wrap we put around our food or containers. The issues and attitudes that hinder us and keep us from living freely, unencumbered, happily, satisfied, and content in God’s grace. Those which separate us from God’s peace and do nothing except keep us locked in despair, anxiety, worrying, and fussy. Those ways of thinking that blind us to God’s goodness and blessings, from being productive and enjoying balanced emotions.

Those cloud of witnesses the writer of Hebrews mentions are rooting for us to get rid of the heavy weight that weighs us down because they know the joys awaiting us when we do. Not just waiting for us in heaven, but on the other side of the weight itself. When we have laid our burdens down, traded our heavy yokes for Christ’s lighter, given them over, sacrificed them on the altar of praise, there is a great joy, a lightheartedness and peace of mind that is incomparable.

Just like shedding those extra pounds, laying our weight and sin aside cannot be a complacent undertaking. Just as we cannot shed unwanted pounds by eating the same things we have always been eating. No, there is sacrifice involved. Rejecting the things we know are not good or healthy that are counterproductive to the goal we have set before us. That means rejecting the devil’s temptations and closing our ears and heart to his misleading counsel and lies. Rejecting the anxiety, the worry, the fear, the anger, the bitterness, the resentment, the unforgiveness that wants to set up shop in our emotions and heart and trading it for God’s promises.

This amazing promise of God is ours for today. We can be encouraged through it. When we are feeling heavy we can ask the Lord to put us on a diet of all everything that is cumbersome, chains us and separates us from his glory. Let’s Pray,

Dear Jesus, we want to sign up for your weight-loss plan. Beginning today may we experience the joy of shedding everything that keeps us from your peace and joy; from all that has kept us from living freely. May we trade our heavy yokes that weigh us down for the lighter yoke Christ offers which will free us up and fill us with joy and peace. Amen               

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