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Summary: We have a responsibility to run the race God has called us to. All of Heaven is counting on us and rooting us on.

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n We are being rooted on by the hosts of heaven that have gone on before us.

n It is our duty to continue and finish what they started.

n The baton has been passed to you and me.

How do we accomplish this?

1. PRACTICE (1 Corinthians 9:25)

* Lay aside the weight—“weight”=mass, burden, hindrance (that that weighs you down and keeps you from accomplishing)

* And the sin—“sin”=err

n Both weight and sin refer to that which will keep you from hitting your mark.

n Get rid of the excess that will keep you from being the best you can be for the Lord.

n Focus on the fundamentals and the basics (2 Timothy 2:15).

**Illustration of a basketball in my hand versus a basketball in the hand of MJ**

Michael Jordan constantly worked to lay aside those things which would keep him from hitting the mark in basketball through practice.

2. PERSISTENCE (Hebrews 6:11-12)

n In this race we are running for the Lord, you don’t have to finish first—just finish.

n A persistent person doesn’t buckle under pressure or give up or in when things are difficult.

n The one who is persistent in his/her effort will receive what is promised (Hebrews 10:36-38).

n A persistent person will not allow victories or setbacks to dictate the progress of his/her pursuit (Philippians 3:12-14).

3. PERSPECTIVE

* Fixing our eyes upon Jesus—Involves a turning away from one thing to focus entirely on something else

n In a race, a runner’s perspective is fixed upon the finish line.

n Jesus, our trainer has taught and led by example:

a. Our example of trust in God (Luke 22:41-42)

b. Our example of commitment to God’s will (Hebrews 10:5-7)

c. Our example of prayer (Mark 1:35)

d. Our example of overcoming temptation and suffering (Hebrews 4:15)

e. Our example of endurance in loyalty to the Father

f. Our example of seeking the joy of completing the work God has called us to (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

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