‘…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…’ Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
In Greece there’s a place tourists seldom visit. The writer of Hebrews may have had it in mind when he wrote, ‘…lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and…run with endurance…’ (Hebrews 12:1 NJKV) It’s where the Isthmian Games, a forerunner to the modern Olympics, were held: a place where athletes were hailed as heroes. To develop muscle they trained with weights strapped to their legs, but on the day of the race they stripped off anything that wasn’t essential. There’s a lesson here. We think what we’re clinging to is important. If we didn’t, letting go wouldn’t be a struggle; we’d simply set it down.
The Christian life is a race that starts the day you accept Christ and ends when you meet Him face-to-face. In order to cross the finish line as a winner you must eliminate: (1) Anything that slows you down. In other words, anything that hinders your spiritual progress. In and of itself, it may not be wrong, but it becomes a ‘weight’ when it stops you from living for God to the fullest. (2) Anything that causes you to stumble short of the finish line. You must constantly monitor the level of your commitment to Christ, the growth of your faith, your home life, your relationships, your integrity, your work ethic, your thought life and your habits. Make up your mind to stay focused on the prize. Greek athletes who won received a garland that eventually withered, but ‘…you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade…’ (1 Peter 5:4 NIV) Isn’t that worth running the race for?
SoulFood: 2 Chron 29-31, John 12:37-50, Ps 102:18-28, Pr 27:13-16