Summary: Our Marathon ends only at our death. Till then we need to run without hesitance and fear. We will face all kinds of encumbrances in life but throw off the run with the same pace and win the race.
Text: Hebrews 12:1-3
Dearly beloved in Christ. Today, we will have mediation from Hebrews 12:1-3 under the theme, RUN. I would like to leave three thoughts, such as, Run the Race, Run to Jesus, and Run without weary.
An old priest died and arrived at the Gates of Heaven. Next to him was a young Taxi driver who died seconds ago from his reckless driving. The priest was called first, and St Peter said, "For your life long career working for the church, we will give you a small studio where you can stay for the rest of eternity.” Then St Peter turns to the Taxi driver, and said, "For your 2 years as a Taxi driver, we will give you a giant mansion by the lake, and a Ferrari in a heated garage. "The priest thought it was strange and unfair, and protested, "Why does the Taxi driver deserve so much more than me when I have devoted my whole life to the church and God?" St Peter explained, "You see - during your sermons, half of the audience was sleeping, and the other half was just looking at their phones; but when the Taxi driver was driving, everyone was praying!"(ref:upjoke.com/sermon-jokes)
- Run the Race (Hebrews 12:1)
Run with perseverance, the race marked out for us (NIV).
Let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us (Amplified).
All these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins (The Message).
We may feel alone, but we aren’t. We are surrounded by an army of witnesses. They have run the race of faith and finished well. It is now our turn (The Voice).
Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us (The Passion).
Cloud of witnesses includes saints of great men and women of God who have overcome, and known and unknown to history (Hebrews 11). We are also under angelic observation (Ephesians 3:10-11), and the world watches our faith and conduct (Matthew 5:16). These witnesses are not witnessing us as we conduct our lives. Instead, they are witnesses to us of faith and endurance, in all, they have lived and experienced (Enduring Bible Commentary).
‘These witnesses are not passive, and they are not silent. They speak to us through the pages of the Old Testament. They cheer us on through their testimonies as we read them. Their biblical voices encourage us to run the race. Their experiences stand as a testimony to us as to what pleases God. They are examples of the enduring faith of men and women who believe in God’ (ref:abideinchrist.com).
The duty consists of two parts such as preparatory, and perfective (Matthew Henry). ‘The encumbrance, impediment may be good for your body but not for your race. Sin is an ever-present threat to the Christian's ability to run the race’(ref:abideinchrist.com).
He says let us run, let us throw off and let us fix our eyes upon. Lay aside every weight and set aside every sin. Some sins are admirable, some are ensnared, and some are dangerous. Yet throw them off (Enduring Bible Commentary). Today, we are entangled with the sin of laziness, sin of entertainment, the sin of excuses, the sin of unaccountability and sin of loathsome complacency, the sin of fear and death.
2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight. Be a giant killer like David in your life race”. 1 Corinthians 9:24-26: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we for an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I should be a castaway”.
Galatians 5:7 “You were running a good race”. Psalm 119:32: “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding”. 2 Samuel 18:23: ‘He said, “Come what may, I want to run.” So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite’. Ahimaaz ran with bad news and wanted to show his excellency by defeating his purpose in life and aim. He was despised and rejected.
- Run to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)
Run fixing eyes on Jesus (NIV). Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection] – (Amplified).