Running the Race to Victory
"Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us."
The writer of the book of Hebrews makes use of athletic imagery as he encourages his Christian allies in their relationships with the Lord Jesus Christ. He begins by reminding them of those who have gone before them ("witnesses") and have successfully completed their race, and then he offers sound advice on how to win.
First, he tells them to refrain from every activity that could keep them from achieving victory. Discipline is a key part of both spiritual and athletic endeavors. Without it, less-than-desirable results will be the outcome. Second, he advises us to have patience (perseverance and endurance), as well. The challenges we face are not always "sprints." You've heard the phrase, "Life is a marathon, not a sprint." Well, many times our challenges are like marathons. Even great distance runners talk about hitting the wall. These are times in the race when fatigue and pain threaten the runner in his or her efforts to finish. But during these times, we have the ultimate example to follow: the Lord Jesus Christ. He ran the race with perfection!
Today, let's strive to follow Jesus' example with the same focus, strive and determination.
1. Have you developed a game plan for your spiritual growth?
2. Are you training for the long haul?
3. Are you familiar with the ultimate training manual, the Bible?