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; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3
LET IT GLOW
Earlier this month, my husband and I went on a business trip by plane. Our connecting flight was in Chicago, with only a few extra minutes between flights. So when we landed, we hit the ground running. Each of us was carrying a backpack so it was a challenge. It was especially for me because I had my laptop, medicines, and purse inside my backpack. It quickly weighed me down and thus slowed me down in my pace. My husband realized it and took the backpack from off my back and carried both. The loud speaker announced the last call for three passengers-the two of us and another. We made it in time, in our race against time, but I was worn out. It was quite stressful since there was no other flight to our destination until the next day, which was when our meetings began. I thought of that when I read our key verses. Shall we take a closer look?
Here are some main points:
- The race is our spiritual journey, Christian life. My race is set before me by God. Race, in Greek is agona, is a conflict or struggle of many kinds; a contest of athletes, runners. (Our English word agony comes from it.) How am I to run it?
- I am surrounded by a great multitude of witnesses listed in chapter 1, the audience. As I walk, I read from the Word of God about great men and women, courageous martyrs, shouting words of hope, endurance, and encouragement to people in the battle. These witnesses are not witnessing us as we conduct our lives. Instead, they are witnesses to us of faith and endurance. So they aren't watching me, but telling me how they continued with faith to the end. Their lives are models showing me how to make it through my race, to persevere.
LET IT GROW
How do I handle this race in order to please God?
(1) Prepare by throwing off everything that hinders me, by laying aside every weight and sin which so
easily beset me. Sin and/or hinderances can keep me from running effectively the race God has for
me. What weighs me down? Is it an indifferent attitude, a lack of discipline, procrastination,
impatience, worldly cares, pride, the law? Am I aware of any excess baggage I'm carrying around?
The entangling sin is unbelief. Do I doubt that God can do what He says he will do?
(2) Follow the command to run with endurance the race set before me. Endurance means to abide
under or to wait with patience. How do I endure?
(3) Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Don't yield to distractions. Jesus endured
the so much to provide my salvation. He finished His race perfectly, accomplishing all that God
had planned for Him. Now He sits at the right hand of God.
(4) While running, keep an attitude of an encouraged heart and a calm mind. Consider, in verse 3,
means to reckon, compare, weigh, think over. When I am meditate upon and occupy my mind
with my Lord Jesus, then I will be calm and encouraged.
The Bible is like a road map; step into the vehicle of application and drive.
[Resources: John Gill's Bible commentary, David Guzik's Bible Commentary, Hebrews II. , a Bible study guide by Charles Swindoll.]
LET IT GO
Look at the winners.
Look at myself.
Look at Jesus.
Live by faith.