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Summary: Part 11 of our Hebrews series

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Hebrews – Encouragement for a life of faith

Part 11

“Unencumbered”

Hebrews 12:12:1-4 I have piled a lot of items up here in front this morning

I know running is a thing of the past for a lot of us

If I am running, I suggest you run as well because something is either falling on me or trying to eat me

But

Still just for grins

Imagine

Trying to run carrying theses items

Some are small and would not be much of a hindrance

Others are a bit larger and could at the minimum slow us down

Some others are so big that running would be completely out of the question and some so large that the thought of even taking step could cause multiple hernias and job security for your chiropractor

I think you get my point

In order to run well

You and I would need to drop or better yet never pick up things that add weight

And thereby hinder our movement

Last week in our study of Hebrews we took a look at the faith of just a few of the founders of our faith

We saw how normal people did extraordinary things because they developed and used their God given gift of Faith

They set the bar high in the area of faith

But I can tell you

If God calls you to do something

And you have faith

I mean complete faith

You in of yourself are incapable of accomplishing the goal

But with God

All things are possible

As we continue our study through the great book of Hebrews

We come to a familiar verse

I have used this verse in the past

Many times

And the writer or Hebrews gives us a good visual picture

Of how allowing ourselves to be encumbered with things that hinder us

Prevents or stunts spiritual growth

These things can prevent us from finishing the race or even running the race in the first place

And these weights if not dealt with

Can cause a separation from our God who loves us

Once again not a loss of salvation

Jesus himself

Gives us assurance of salvation

But these weights can definitely cause a loss of blessings

Please open your bibles to

Hebrews chapter 12

And let’s read together verses 1 -2

Throw your bulletin in there as we will return back here in a bit

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

The huge crowd of witnesses is all of those listed in the hall of fame of faith

But

Also

All Christians that have ever lived the true Christian life

They have set examples for us though their words

Their actions

Their love

The list of these witnesses will vary from person to person

But what I need you to know is there are many

Many

Listen

Many

Who have finished the race, many more who are successfully running the race

They have fulfilled God’s call in their lives

It is possible

And if they can do it

We can do it

But How

Verse 1b tells us how

“let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.”

Let us strip off

Get rid of

Cast off some versions say

Anything

Anything

That slows us down in the race of spiritual growth

The race of a new and closer relationship to Jesus

We must get rid of them

So I want you this morning to image the physical things that are up here

As spiritual things

I want you imagine them as emotional things

I want you to imagine them as things that keep you out of close and true fellowship with God

This prayerfully will give you visual image of the often invisible things that hinder us

The things that hobble us

The things that can completely disable us

So what are these things?

These weights?

These hobbles?

I can tell you they can be almost anything

This morning I want to try and identify a few weights

And then we can come back and see how we throw them off

Let’s start out with some pretty common things that can slow us down

Fear is a big one

We fear the unknown so we don’t step up and step out when God calls

We Fear being labeled as weird

As a Jesus freak

As a bible thumper

We fear giving up our old lives

Because they are familiar

We don’t really like what we have

But it is ours and we know what we have

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