Run your Race
Hebrews 12:1-2 1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Those of you who were at church Sunday heard me talk about this already, but I think it is so important for us to be prepared to run the race that is set before us. When I looked at the meaning of the word “Race” I found these definitions- Race- Regular Course-the fixed course regularly followed or traveled by something; a Journey- a single passage along a fixed course, especially the course that somebody’s life follows; a narrow path or passage. That last one struck me- a narrow path or passage. Remember what it says in Matthew 7:13-14? 13Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it. It’s not always going to be easy to run your race, just as the narrow path isn’t always easy to stay on. This verse says few are they who find it. However, if we use the principles found in the Word, we will stay on course and will be able to say like Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 7I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. 8[As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day–and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).
Over the next week or so we are going to discuss the things we need to do to effectively run our race. As we can see from today’s scripture we are going to have to: Throw aside every unnecessary weight, Throw aside the sin which clings to and entangles us, Run with patient endurance- steady and active persistence, Look away from all that distract, and Look to Jesus. Every one of these things requires action on our part, but by understanding how to apply this Word to our lives we will be equipped to run like never before!
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