Finishing the Christian Race
Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 22-24; Hebrews 12
Today’s Key Passage – Hebrews 12:1-3
Running a race is a common metaphor for the Christian life, and as many of you know, it is one that I use often. Because of that, my first inclination was not to write this particular devotional today. My plan was to write about a different topic, but as is so often the case, it seems God had a different plan in mind for me. As many times as I tried to get away from this topic and write about something else, I found that God kept pulling me back to this particular passage. As I studied this passage today, it became clear to me why God kept bringing me back to it. Though the metaphor of a race is one I have used in the past, the author of Hebrews provides us with three practical tips to finishing the Christian race that are so important that they bear repeating.
Remember the Witnesses – Most long distance runners will tell you that at some point in a long race they are going to feel the temptation to quit. As your legs become wobbly and your body grows weary, sometimes all you want to do is stop running. One thing a runner can do in those times to regain motivation to continue is to remember all of the people who have run the race in the past. The runner is not the only one to have ever run the race. Other people have run it and other people have won. Like the runner, we too can remember the others who have run this race. In yesterday’s reading we read about the faith hall of fame, referred to here as, “a great cloud of witnesses” (Vs. 1) When we face times of struggle, we can remember these witnesses and gain the motivation necessary to continue running.
Strip the Weight – A marathon runner would never show up for a race 100 pounds overweight, and he would probably not show up wearing a suit of armor. To ensure the best possible finish, a runner shows up to the race in shape and wearing as little extra weight as possible because he does not need anything to get in his way or slow him down. Likewise, we need to strip the weight off of ourselves for our Christian race. (Vs. 1) This weight might be a hidden sin or an addiction. It might be a person that we need to stop hanging around. It might be an activity that we need to quit. Whatever it is, if it is slowing you down you need to get rid of it.
Keep Your Eyes on the Finish Line – A runner who does not know where the finish line is will probably not do very well. During the race, if he loses focus and takes his eyes off the finish line he might stray off course. As we run our Christian race, we must always, “fix our eyes on Jesus”. (Vs. 2) We are running the race for a reason. Let us never forget that He is that reason. “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Vs. 3)
How is your race going? Are you remembering the witnesses? Have you stripped off excess weight? Are you keeping your eyes on the finish line? Let us all run this race together, and let us all finish strong.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.