Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Race Set Before Us

   Today's post will be based on the verses of Hebrews 12:1-3 which states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
   In this particular verse, we as christians are compared to runners. Why would God have chosen for this certain comparison to be part of His word? Let's state some facts. Runners lose as much weight as they can before they run a race. They don't carry around a heavy book bag as they are running. They also wear light clothing. Too much weight and/or extra clothing can be the difference between win or lose. You might be asking, "What does this have to do with christians?" Well, God was very wise to lead the author of Hebrews to write this. God is wanting us to run the race of faith for him. To do this right, we need to lay aside some things. We need to ask Him for forgiveness (This is essential!) and let go of things like love of the world, forgiven sin that we still worry about (GUILT), and any other distractions. This verse tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. How are we to focus on him if we have things distracting us constantly? It is important to give full focus to him because as soon as the devil knows you are only "half" focused on Jesus, he will manipulate you and tempt you so you will become even more distracted. Soon enough, you will be running the opposite direction! Most people have heard the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water. (If not, you can read the story at Matthew 14:22-33) As soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and lost focus he began to sink. And what did Jesus say? He said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" Jesus made our salvation possible! We owe all our focus to him. In the race of faith, endurance is essential! This is a marathon not a sprint! You need more than just one burst of energy. This ties back into one of my recent blog posts about just being a "Sunday Morning Christian." Stay on fire for God and don't let it die down! 
   Having trouble running your race of faith? Spend time in the bible. It is important because through it we learn many things. We may learn things like what we need to lay aside and we can learn about Jesus, what he did for us, and what a great example his race of faith can be for us! Lay worldly things aside, keep your endurance, and most of all focus on Jesus!


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