Summary: This is the second in a series focusing on the need for God’s people to learn the importance of bearing up under opposition and trials so that God’s Kingdom might be established in us and in the world.
How to Run the Race (Pt. II)
Sermon – July 31st 2005
Last week we began in a new series on Perseverance entitled “How Top Run The Race”.
As I mentioned last week, perseverance is a foreign concept in general to many in the Western world.
It is so important that we live by the spirit, that we seek to view the world through God’s eyes, not the eyes of the flesh.
We live by faith, not by sight.
When we live by faith it will affect every part of our life, if we live by sight the same holds true in a negative sense.
If we view the world through the eyes of the flesh it is like putting on a pair of dirty sunglasses, everything looks distorted
The Jewish Christians being addressed in the book of Hebrews had suffered some persecution. Some had lost their homes, some were unable to do business – because of their faith in Jesus others in the Jewish community would not do business with them. In many ways the Jewish Christians became outcasts among their own people. Some of them had left the faith and many were drifting and were in danger of abandoning the faith which is one of the main reasons the letter was written.
This was also written before the fall of the Temple so Hebrews was also written in a prophetic sense to prepare them for the coming persecution that would come and would be far worse than what they had already been through.
(Brief review of Pt. 1)
I) Posture of Perseverance –
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…
II) Person of Perseverance –
Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…
III) Purpose of Perseverance –
…so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Similar to Hebrews, James was written during a time when God’s people were suffering under various trials and persecutions and he was writing to instruct them through it.
1.Benefits of Perseverance –
Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Last week we spoke about the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12
James is making a similar point – the prophets serve as examples for all of us through the manner in which they endured suffering.
26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
As we spoke of last week, we see in this passage that Moses had a posture of perseverance – with his eyes fixed on Jesus.
But the example of Moses should benefit us in another way too.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today,
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
There is no doubt that one of the ways in which we can spur one another on is in perseverance.
Is there some one in your life who you know is struggling in some way? Someone who needs to persevere in the midst of their situation – how can you encourage them?
Is there a way in which you can come along side that person and help bear them up?
Our lives should serve as an example to one another...
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Notice…Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ
We looked at the example of Christ last week…
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
As we follow the example of Jesus our lives will serve as an encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We must persevere not only for our own sake but for the sake of the health of the Church body. As much as we can build one another up and so strengthen the Church so we can also adversely affect the health of the body.