Summary: If you’re a Christ-follower, God has called you to be a runner. Are you running? If you’re a Christ-follower, God has called you to be a runner. Did you know that? And Are you running the race well?

It’s a worthy race. Hebrews 12:1-3

Story of someone who was running for their or someone’s life…

Hebrews 12:1-3

Are you a runner? I ran track and cross country in high school. When I got out of college and moved to Houston to work for Shell, I began to run to maintain my health and weight. I can’t run anymore because of my ankle and Achilles damage. But I love to watch runners and wish I could still run. But there’s a race that I’ve been running since I was in college and I plan on running it until I hit the finish line and meet Jesus.

If you’re a Christ-follower, God has called you to be a runner. Are you running? If you’re a Christ-follower, God has called you to be a runner. Did you know that? And Are you running the race well?

Today we begin a new series aimed at helping us understand the race that God has called us run and how to run faster and better. It fits well with the Unleashed initiative we began a year ago when we took our generosity to a new level to push back the darkness faster and better.

We’re going to focus primarily on these 1st 3 verses in Hebrews 12. It is one of the most recognizable and loved passages in all the Bible. As a pastor/teacher, this excites me to be able to drill down into this passage to plumb the depths and let the richness of it settle in on us. I’d encourage you not to miss any of these next 4 Sundays because it’s so critical to Rush Creek and to your future as a Christ-follower.

So let’s stand and read this together. If you don’t have these verses memorized, I’d encourage you to spend the next 4 weeks committing them to memory. I promise, I promise they will be a blessing to you if you do. Hebrews 12:1-3 (on screen)

Each week I want us to focus on one aspect of this race we’re called to run as Christ-followers. And so this morning I want us to grasp this life-changing truth: It’s a worthy race.

Think about the races we’re involved in right now in life. Some of us are chasing financial accumulation. Some of us are chasing recreation and entertainment. Some of us are chasing comfort and security. Some of us are chasing dreams for ourselves or maybe chasing dreams for our children in athletics or academics.

But I contend that there is no more worthy race than this race. The term race is a metaphor for something bigger than just running down the road. race=God’s path for our individual lives. Remember in Forrest Gump after his momma dies, he decides to run. (video clip 00:41-1:20 stop after ‘I ran clear to the ocean’)

There was no real purpose, plan, or direction to Forrest’s running! I promise you, the path that God has marked out for you is planned and purposeful. Like a long and winding road, it lays out before you.

It’s the most worthy race you can ever engage in. Why so?

It’s a race that many have run before us v.1 (on screen)

What’s the 1st word? Therefore. So when you see that you have to find out what it’s there for, right? So you look back to what is just before that word. The writer of Hebrews, and we don’t know exactly who wrote it, was recounting those who had displayed great faith throughout the ages. Some named, most unnamed. As you peruse those named, you see Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Moses. Their paths, their races were lighted by their faith and are examples that we follow to this day.

But there are many that have gone before us that we’ll never know this side of heaven. Look at what vv.35-40 say about them (Hebrews 11:35-40 on screen). These old testament saints, named and unnamed, looked to the fulfillment of the prophecies and promise God had made about the Messiah. They lived by faith and were martyred because of their faith. But they didn’t get to see the promise and prophecies fulfilled, did they? Those prophesies/promises were fulfilled with the incarnation, with God in the flesh, with Jesus, the Lamb of God.

As Christ-followers, we have the promise fulfilled in us, right? We don’t have to wait for the Messiah. We don’t have to hope for the Messiah. He has come and dwells in the hearts of believers. And these witnesses we just read about lean over the portals of heaven looking at us to see if we who have more potential and possibility than any generation before us will run this race in a manner worthy of our calling.

The sacrifices these witnesses made accentuate the fact that this is a worthy race. I might add that when I think about my dad and the race that he ran by faith and my mom and the race that she ran by faith, both of them at great cost and sacrifice—spurs me on to run this worthy race with all my being.

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