Hebrews 12:1-2 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
In a world of full of chaos, confusion and uncertainty, in a world of wars and rumors of wars, in a world where many people seems to be falling away from the faith and dropping out of the Christian race, the call to you and I as believers is to "stay in the race".
People of God, I do not know what you are dealing with on this morning as you run this Christian race, but I know that God knows all about it and He has given you an assurance in His Word that He is forever with you.
Stay in the race!!!
The writer of this text uses the illustration of a race to explain how Christians are to live their lives. Like runners in a race, we should never give up and quit but daily make a commitment to faithfully follow Christ
This Christian race is no ordinary race for it is the most serious competition we will ever enter in in our life time. This race determines whether we live or die, whether we spend eternity with God or apart from God, therefore, regardless of the struggle we must run and we must run with the mindset to win.
We are to not get weary and give up, but to continue on running with Jesus in our view. We must endure hardships, overcome difficulties, resist temptations, lay aside every weight of care that would hinder us and the sin that so easily besets us.
We are to lay aside those things that hinders our relationships with God. We are to rid ourselves of those attitudes and habits that causes us to remain in bondage.
The call today is to do whatever is necessary and whatever it takes, no matter the cost, to follow Christ.
The question is, are you willing? Are you willing to continue on the Christian race, regardless of the price you may have to pay to do it? Are you willing to loose friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, cousins, material possess, etc. to follow Christ?
Let's listen to Apostle Paul answer concerning all the his material accomplishments in Philippians 3:8 I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ,
Scripture declares that there is a prize to be won. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25-Everyone who competes in the game goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. The crown of eternal life!
The world runs for a corruptible crown, but we as believers run for the incorruptible crown of righteousness that God will give to all that believe at the end of their race.
The call is to fix our eyes on Jesus. When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, we know what steps to take, we know which direction to walk there in, we know what is truth and what is not, we know God's will for our lives and we know His voice and follow it.
We all have a race to run. Moses had a race, Abraham had a race, David had a race, Joseph had a race and on and on throughout out the bible we see how those that have gone on before us have fought through the battles of life, but continued in the race. We must do the same!
Pleasing God must become our priority! Only what we do for Christ will last.
Remember, as we run this race, there are those saints that have gone on before us who are cheering us on in the race. They are described in this text as a “cloud of witnesses” also known as the faith hall of famers. Abraham, Noah, Able, Enoch and Joseph, just to name a few.
It is the life living of those “faith hall of famers” that are our examples today that by faith in Christ, we too can run and win. They have already tread the tracks we are now running. A life of faith in Christ Jesus is indeed the life that wins.
People of God, RUN, RUN, RUN! There is a prize that awaits you at the end of your race.
The world wants us to get out of the race and focus on all the temporary things of pleasure it has to offer, but the call from God to us today is "stay in the race", do not look to the right nor to left, but keep running and looking forward.
We must press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. That prize is not found in the world but only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
If we are to hear "well done thy good and faithful servant" at the end of our race, we must push against opposition and endure hardship, all the while keeping our focus on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.
When we place our focus on Him, we forget about the past hurts, pains and disappointments. We are then able to focus on the promises of God that is written in His Word.
People of God, stay in the race, keep the faith, keep trusting and believing God.
With the Help of the Holy Spirit who is our comforter, guide and our teacher, we will be able to run this Christian race with patience and endurance.
Remember, We can not afford to allow anything to distract us from crossing the finish line.
The goal in this race of faith is not perfection, but progress!!! The prize is not given to the first one who finishes the race, nor to the swift or the strongest, but it is given to the one who endures to the end.
Remember, "stay in the race"! Keep running, keep serving and praising God, keep loving your enemy and those that spitefully use you.
God is the the same God who changes not for He promises to run along side you as you run.
People of God, regardless of what you may suffer for Christ, stay in the race for even in the midst of unspeakable sorrow or pain, God is with you, even when you do not feel Him near, God is there. He promises to never leave you alone
He promises to be with you always, even unto the end.
God bless and tell the Lord thank you for giving us the strength to run this christian race with patience. Thank Him for being right there with us, running along side us.
I love you all.