Summary: Encouragement for the saints to keep on keeping on!
KEEP ON THE FIRING LINE!
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
In the gospel in hymns, published in 1950, is a story about Philip Brooks, author of “O Little Town of Bethlehem”: One April fools day, Brooks saw a boy on Boylston Street in Boston trying to reach a doorbell. Brooks walked up the steps and said, “Let me help you, my little man!” He pushed the button; the boy scampered down the steps, saying, “Now run like crazy!”
We are not running wildly in every direction. However,
THROUGH: THE BIBLE SAYS THAT WE ARE IN A RACE OF FAITH!
I. WE ARE IN A BATTLE
A. THE BATTLE IS RAGING TODAY
A. WE MUST FIGHT AND NOT RUN
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
B. MANY THINGS WILL TRY TO KEEP US FROM STAYING IN THIS FIGHT!
Lack of tenacity (toughness -fortitude) size of the fight in the dog
1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some-coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through-with many sorrows.
1 Tim 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after-righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto-thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many-witnesses.
Loss of Passion
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
Allurement of temptation
Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word-with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of-temptation fall away.
FALLING DOWN/FAILURE (TWO KENTUCKY FARMERS/RACING STABLES/RIVALRY/STEEPLECHASE/PROFESSIONAL CRACK JOCKEY/
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth-in his way.
Psalm 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD-upholdeth him with his hand.
Because the program has a backup plan for those who fail/ fall short at-times.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.-And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the-righteous:
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but-also for the sins of the whole world.
By Admitting/ acknowledging your weak areas (import. of confession)
C. WE MUST FIGHT WITH FAITH (LOOKING BEHIND)(LOTS WIFE)
This is the victory that overcometh the world …
D. WE ARE IN BATTLE AGAINST OURSELVES & THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. WE ARE NOT STRIVING AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD!
II. WE AREN’T JUST FIGHTING FOR OURSELVES!
A. PEOPLE OF GOD DEPENDING ON US.
B. LOST PEOPLE NEED US!
FARMER/MUDDY HOLE/$5 DOLLARS/ AT THAT PRICE… /CAN’T AT NIGHT/ I HAUL WATER TO THE HOLE!
C. TIME IS SHORT
D. WE MUST LAY DOWN EVERY SIN AND WEIGHT
III. JESUS IS OUR CAPTAIN
A. HE STIRS US TO FIGHT (ROLE MODEL /JOSHUA)
B. HE STRENGTHENS US FOR THE FIGHT
32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
34 He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
C. HE MAKES SURE THAT WE SUCCEED IN THE FIGHT
D. HE HAS SET THE PRIZE BEFORE US (REFRESHMENT STANDS)