Monday, September 13, 2010

Running The Race

(Hebrews 12:1) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 
It seems simple. The Christian's life is like a race.

But it is not so simple.  It is an endurance race that lasts our lifetime.  It is, by its nature, difficult.  Every step requires effort.  Every moment we decide again to stay the course.  Every day reveals new challenges of rough terrain, narrow paths, confusing options and the temptation to give up.

But we have encouragement from the Lord.  There is a "cloud of witnesses" who have lived by faith through difficult times and whose testimonies are found in Scripture.  They speak with a united voice to say, "The Lord is faithful and sufficient."

Our perfect example is Jesus our Savior.
(Hebrews 12:2–3) 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.
3 ¶ For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 
Jesus never slipped, never faltered and never despaired.  He never wavered, but always obeyed the Father.  By His obedience Jesus faced down our greatest obstacles - sin and death - so that we don't have too.

Lay aside every weight. 

The Lord says, "lay aside every weight."  We need to examine each thing we pick up and see if it is part of the race - or just extra weight.  It is so easy to accumulate things that hinder us in our race - physical stuff, entertainment, people, politics, hobbies, interests, fears, pride, loves, jobs, obsessions, hatreds, resentments, grudges, self-pity, ambition, lies, superstitions - the list is endless. 

When we allow these things to bog us down we are like a distracted driver - talking on the phone, texting, drinking coffee and applying make-up while traveling 70 miles per hour just ten feet from the car in front of us.  We are a disaster just waiting to happen.  There will be a sudden turn, a flash of brake lights, and we will be off the road!

Hang up and drive.  Lay aside every weight.  Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Run with endurance - for the glory of God.
(Colossians 3:17) And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

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