Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:1-2
MOTIVATION TO RUN THE CHRISTIAN RACE
Our God has an unblemished track record of sustaining the faith of everyone He saves. As motivation for us to continue pursuing the Lord, Hebrews exhorts us to remember the Spirit’s sustaining power in the lives of Old Testament saints. Knowing that our God has faithfully sustained the faith of His people in every place, in every age, in every circumstance, how could we fail to trust Him? Severe challenges are no match for the Holy Spirit’s keeping-power. “Such a great cloud of witnesses” guarantees us that God is able to finish the saving work He has begun.
HOW TO RUN THE CHRISTIAN RACE
As many runners zoomed past Tracy and I in the races, we noticed that no one was carrying extra weight. Literally everyone was streamlined for the event. Similarly, Hebrews 12:1 tells Christians that we must offload anything that hinders us from pursuing Christ. The Spirit instructs us to cast off “every weight and every sin that so easily entangles us” (Heb. 12:1). It is more foolish to try to live faithfully for Christ while carrying sin or unnecessary baggage than it would be to try to run a marathon in a three-piece suit. If anything is hindering your walk with Jesus, shed it now.
After Tracy registered us for the “summer fun runs,” my first question was “how fun?” Different running events require different types of preparation and pace. Faithful Christian living is more like a marathon than a sprint. In our day of instant gratification, “patience” may sound like profanity. Me? Wait? Never! We can send a package to the other side of the world overnight. Waiting may seem inefficient, but God’s economy does not run according to our standards.
The faithful Christian life requires patient endurance in your daily walk with Jesus. In fact, steadfastness and patience are two of the primary evidences that all of God’s power and all of His glorious might are at work in your life (cf. Col. 1:11)! True Christianity is not a one-time decision of spiritual zeal. True Christians are those whose faith is deeply-rooted in the gospel of Jesus and deeply long for the glory of Christ.
Therefore, let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross to purge our sins (Heb. 12:2; Ps. 17:15).