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Summary: May your faith life, your witness be an inspiration that cheers others on. The Scriptures are clear; it is time to run. Some of you, may be coasting or panting on the sidelines. It is time to run!

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For those who are not familiar with an an Anglican Service; there are four Scriptures readings prior to the Message; Today's assigned readings are: Isiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:1-18; Hebrews 11:29-12:2 and Luke 12:49-56.

I enjoy listening to stories about people who will not give up; ...... stories of those who stay the course .... even ...when the "going .... gets tough".

They are a source of great inspiration ... to all.

When people begin their Christian walk, .... and then later quit ... when the "going gets tough", ...... they can become an object of ridicule to some; .... and a source of discouragement ... to others.

That "Is" the reason ... that what the writer of Hebrews stated ... is so important.

Hear God's word, BIBLE "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, ... let us throw off everything that hinders ... and the sin ... that so easily entangles, ... and let us run with perseverance ... the race marked out for us. 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." END (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The Scripture compares the Christian life ... to a foot race, .... Yet it is a marathon ... not a sprint!

The word translated "race" ... that is used in this passage ... is the Greek word 'agon' ... from which we get the English word ... "agonize".

As with any footrace ... it does not matter how fast you start, ... if ... you do not finish.

And in a marathon, .... stamina.... endurance ... is the critical factor. (Pause)

Two gas company service men, ... a senior training Supervisor ... and a young trainee ... were out checking ... and reading meters.

They parked their truck ... at the end of the alley ... and worked their way from one end ... to the other.

At the last house ... a woman looking out her kitchen window ... watched the two men ... as they checked her gas meter.

When they finished ... the older supervisor challenged his younger co-worker .... to a foot race back down the alley .... to the truck.

As they neared the end of the alley, ... they realized that the lady from the last house ... was huffing and puffing ... right behind them.

They asked her ... what was wrong.

Gasping for breath she said, ... "When I saw two men from the gas company running full speed away from my house, ... I figured I better run too." (Contributed by: Stan Martin to

That lady was running, ... But, she wasn't exactly sure ... Why she was running, ... yet was convinced... that her life depended on it.

Beloved .... it would be true blessing ... if every individual ... who called themselves a follower of the Christ, ... would run the race of faith ... with such fervency.

We are told in the Scriptures ... to run the race with Perseverance with Endurance.

"Perseverance" 'hupomone' (hoop-om-on-ay) is the steady determination to keep going.

It the Greek it means to continue.

To continue ... when everything within you ... wants to slow down ... or give up.

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