Run the Race, Look to Jesus
Take some time with me looking at Hebrews 12.1-2. Notice what God wants me to choose to point my life towards; this is His focus for me. Remember the three areas He gives us to work on. DROP-RUN-LOOK
I must DROP whatever hinders my focus on Jesus; I must RUN the race God has marked for me; I must LOOK at Jesus as my example to follow.
- DROP whatever hinders my focus on Jesus. Lay aside, ditch, get rid of it. Quit, avoid, flee and forsake it.
- RUN the race God has marked for me. Persevere, stay at it, don't grow weary of it, finish the course.
- LOOK at Jesus as my example to follow. Focus on Him, follow His example, keep Him in mind, see Him as the goal. Await Him at the end of your race, see Him giving you the prize, await His smile and well done.
These exhortations come in pairs. First we are to DROP:
- DROP ANY HINDRANCE: Let us also lay aside every encumbrance. (12:1b) An encumbrance is simply a bulk or mass of something. It is not necessarily bad in itself. Often it is something perfectly innocent and harmless. But it weighs us downs diverts our attention, saps our energy, dampens our enthusiasm for the things of God. We cannot win when we are carrying excess weight. When we ask about a certain habit or condition, "What's wrong with that?" the answer often is, "Nothing in itself." The problem is not in what the weight is but in what it does. It keeps us from running well and therefore from winning.
- DROP EVERY SIN: Let us also lay aside ... the sin which so easily entangles us. (12:1c) We each have characteristic sins that more easily entangle us than others. Some sins that tempt and degrade others hold little appeal for us—and vice versa. Sensuality may be the Achilles' heel for many men, but not all. Another who has gained victory over such sin may regularly down jealousy's deadly nectar, not realizing it is rotting his soul. Dishonesty may never tempt some souls, for guile simply has no appeal to them, but just cross them and you will feel Satan's temper! What sin is it that so easily entangles you or me? Covetousness? Envy? Criticism? Laziness? Hatred? Lust? Unthankfulness? Pride? Whatever sin it is, it must be stripped off and left behind".
Next we are to RUN. Notice what God's Word instructs us as we continue in Hebrews 12.1b
- RUN OUR RACE: "and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (v. 1b). Notice the words are specific. "the race marked out for us". God has planned a specific pathway we follow through life for Him. It is not the same as another's. Ours may have deep valley and steep hills, there's may be all flat and sunny. Ours may be long and lonely, there's may be short and sweet. That is what God plans, we just follow the race track He marks out for us.
- RUN OUR RACE -- TO THE END: Like the Apostle Paul said - we all need to FINISH well. Listen to his testimony of what kept him going: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." (2 Timothy 4:7, 8). That testimony is a comfort to us. We can finish OUR racecourse in HIS strength. And when we do so there is joy from above.
Finally the Scriptures tell us how all this is possible. The only way to accomplish all that the Lord has planned for you and me is to obey this final exhortation.
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