The Joy Set Before Jesus!

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.
— Hebrews 12:2

When a person initiates a new, huge endeavor, his passion to succeed in that endeavor strengthens him to keep his eye on the goal in front of him. For example, as an athlete starts a race, his desire to win that race helps him keep his eyes fixed on the finish line. While constructing a building, workers who keep their eyes on the architect’s finalized rendering are encouraged to sustain the momentum of the building process. While writing this book you hold in your hands, I encouraged myself by keeping my sight fixed on December 31 — the last Sparkling Gem I knew I would write for this volume. With every new daily entry I completed, I moved closer to that goal, and it gave me courage to keep writing. As a result of my writing and staying on track, you are reading this devotional today.

But what do you think Jesus focused on when He was hanging on the Cross and enduring the agony and shame we discussed in the last three days of Sparkling Gems? You can imagine that He must have had moments when He thought, I don’t have to do this! I could call on legions of angels to deliver me! I could come down from this Cross! What do you think motivated Him to remain there until the job was done?

Hebrews 12:2 tells us very clearly: “…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.”

This verse says Jesus focused on “the joy” that was set before Him as He endured the Cross. Just like a runner focuses on the finish line, like a builder forges ahead to view the completed project, and an author anticipates the last written page of a book, Jesus was looking forward to “the joy” of finishing. I’m sure that as Jesus hung on the Cross, He looked out across eons of time and saw the faces of people who would be saved because of what He was doing. He saw you, He saw me — but what else did He see that motivated Him to stay faithful to the end?

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Sparkling Gems 2 by Rick RennerAuthor and Bible teacher Rick Renner invested thousands of hours into prayer and study in the writing of Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2. It is his sincere prayer that God will use this book and all the time invested into it to help you go deeper and rise higher than ever before in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Rick delves deep into God’s Word to unveil hidden riches from the Scriptures that will help you build your life daily upon a solid foundation. Through sound doctrine and empowering insights, Rick clarifies the path to an intimate and uncompromising walk with God. You will also receive vital equipment to cultivate your character and ignite your passion for Jesus so you can stand strong and victorious in the pursuit of His purposes in these uncertain times.

Although this book is designed as a daily devotional, Rick has included Greek-English indices at the back, along with more than 1,000 new Greek word studies, to make Sparkling Gems 2 a useful Greek reference tool for your own personal study.

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