Sermons

Summary: Sermon to encourage believers not to give up, but endure the obstacles that life brings us.

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1 THEREFORE WE ALSO, SINCE WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES, LET US LAY ASIDE EVERY WEIGHT, AND THE SIN WHICH SO EASILY ENSNARES [US], AND LET US RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US, 2 LOOKING UNTO JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF [OUR] FAITH, WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, AND HAS SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE THRONE OF GOD. 3 FOR CONSIDER HIM WHO ENDURED SUCH HOSTILITY FROM SINNERS AGAINST HIMSELF, LEST YOU BECOME WEARY AND DISCOURAGED IN YOUR SOULS. (HEB 12:1-3 NKJV)

KEEP ON RUNNING

ONE YEAR AGO ON APRIL 15, 2013….A TRAGIC EVENT HAPPENED THAT CHANGED THE LIVES OF SEVERAL HUNDRED PEOPLE THAT WERE IN ATTENDANCE….AND AFFECTED THE CITY OF BOSTON FOR YEARS TO COME. THIS TRAGIC EVENT WAS THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS…..THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF 3 SPECTATORS AND INJURED OVER 260 OTHERS. THE TRAUMATIC EVENT CAUSED SEVERAL PEOPLE TO LOSE THEIR LEG….FROM THE BLAST OF THE EXPLOSION…..REQUIRING SEVERAL MONTHS AND YEARS TO COME OF PHYSICAL THERAPY AND TRAINING IN ORDER FOR THEM TO WALK AND GET AROUND AGAIN WITH ARTIFICIAL LIMBS. DESPITE THE HORRIFIC OUTCOME OF THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS…SEVERAL OF THE VICTIMS OF THIS EVENT……ASSEMBLED YESTERDAY ….MARKING THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY…..STANDING TOGETHER…..PRESSING ON TO CONTINUE TO LIVE THEIR LIVES……SOME LEARNING TO DO THE BASIC THINGS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED……SUCH AS STANDING UP ON OUR OWN…….WALKING…DANCING….AND RUNNING. SOME OF THE VICTIMS HAVE VOWED TO RUN AGAIN IN THIS HISTORIC MARATHON….AND MANY OF THEIR STORIES HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION ….WHEN FACED WITH OBSTACLES IN OUR LIVES…… INSTEAD OF ALLOWING THIS EVENT TO PARALYZE THEM….MANY HAVE DECIDED TO KEEP ON RUNNING….

THIS IS THE SAME MESSAGE THAT THE APOSTLE PAUL GIVES US IN OUR TEXT TODAY…… HE ENCOURAGES US ALL TO KEEP ON RUNNING…..THE RACE THAT GOD HAS PLACED BEFORE US….WHEN WE ENDURE DISCOURAGING TIMES IN OUR LIVE. THE AUTHOR WRITES TO THE JEWISH BELIEVERS OF JESUS CHRIST DURING A TIME WHEN THEY STRUGGLED WITH THEIR FAITH…..DURING A TIME WHEN THERE WAS TENSION AND DIFFICULTY IN THE WORLD ….AS THEY EMBRACED THEIR NEW CHRISTIAN FAITH. IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER OF HEBREWS…..KNOWN AS THE “FAITH CHAPTER”…..THE WRITER…GIVES US A LONG LIST OF WITNESSES…..AND THEIR TESTIMONY OF FAITH. IT IS IN THEIR FAITH….THAT THEY CONTINUED THEIR RACE THAT WAS SET BEFORE THEM……AND SEVERED AS AN EXAMPLE THAT WHATEVER WE MAY FACE IN LIFE….. TO KEEP ON RUNNING….AND BY FAITH….HE WILL GET US THROUGH. BY FAITH… WHEN WE ENDURE…..THE TEST……THERE WILL BE A TESTIMONY. THE APOSTLE PAUL USES THE METAPHOR OF AN ATHLETIC COMPETITION …..TO DESCRIBE OUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY…… HE WAS THAT WE ARE TO RUN WITH ENDURANCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US. THIS IDEA OF OUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY BEING COMPARED TO A RACE IS NOTHING NEW FOR PAUL. HE OFTEN USED THE SYMBOLISM OF AN ATHLETE….SO THAT OTHERS COULD RELATE TO WHAT WAS BEING SAID. THE PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT IT MEANS TO RUN A RACE. PAUL OFTEN PLACED HIMSELF…..AS A RUNNER WHO HAD A RACE TO FINISH…….AND NOTHING WOULD STOP HIM FROM FINISHING THAT RACE. WE SEE HIM REFERENCE THIS IN ACTS 20…. BUT THE ANCIENT GREEK WORD FOR RACE….MEANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WE SEE IT TODAY. RACE WAS USED TO DESCRIBE A CONFLICT OR STRUGGLE OF MANY KINDS. WE ARE TO RUN THIS RACE ….THAT WAS SET BEFORE US WITH ENDURANCE. WITHIN OUR LIFE….WE ARE TO FACE THIS RACE…..AND WE ARE TO ENDURE THIS RACE…..AND BY FAITH…..WHEN WE LOOK TO JESUS…..WE WILL FINISH OUR RACE………

THERE MAY BE TIMES IN OUR LIVES WHEN WE GET DISCOURAGED BY THE OBSTACLES THAT WE FACE IN LIFE. IN TIMES LIKE THESE LET US CONTINUE TO RUN THE RACE BEFORE US WITH ENDURANCE LOOKING TO JESUS WHO WILL GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO BEGIN AND FINISH OUR RACE.

I BELIEVE THAT THE TEXT TODAY GIVES US THREE POINTS WE CAN GLEAN FROM…..TO ENCOURAGE US TO KEEP ON RUNNING……THE RACE THAT HAS BEEN SET BEFORE US…..

I BELIEVE THAT THIS TEXT TELLS US THAT…….. OTHERS HAVE ENDURED THE RACE THAT WE FACE…..

LET US LOOK AT THE A CLAUSE OF THE TEXT IN VERSE 1……”THEREFORE WE ALSO, SINCE WE ARE SURROUNDED BY SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES…….

THE AUTHOR BEGINS THIS VERSE BY SAYING…..THEREFORE.....AS A CONTINUATION AND DEMONSTRATION OF THE ENDURING FAITH THAT IS FOUND IN HEBREWS 11….. ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER FACED SOME OF THE SAME TRIALS AND OBSTACLES WE FACE …… AND BY FAITH…..THEY OVERCOME THEM ALL…. PAUL SAYS……”THEREFORE….. WE ALSO……. MEANING WE ARE GOING TO FACE THE SAME KIND OF STORMS….. WE ARE INCLUDED…..IN THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH…. WE ARE TAKING PART…..IN GOD’S NARRATIVE….. WE ARE ALSO….GOING TO FACE SOME STRUGGLES…… AND IF YOU CAN JUST IMAGINE SOME OF THE STORMS YOU HAVE FACED…..THESE PAST FEW DAYS……THESE PAST FEW WEEKS......MONTHS…..OR YEARS…… WHATEVER IT IS YOU HAVE FACED….OR ARE GONNA FACE….PAUL SAYS….”THEREFORE…WE ALSO…” WILL FACE WHAT THE CHAMPIONS OF FAITH IN HEBREWS 11 FACED….

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