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Summary: Run the race of faith with perseverance. Never stop until you cross the finish line!

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August 21, 2016

Lanier Christian Church

David Simpson

Run With Perseverance

Hebrews 11:1-2 and 12:1-3

There were over 10,000 athletes housed in the Olympic village apartments in Rio these past two weeks. There were a number of restaurants in the village to provide food for the athletes at no cost to them. Do you know the most popular restaurant? McDonalds. It was so popular that the restaurant limited each customer to a maximum of 20 items per person.

These athletes are BIG eaters! One of the rowers, named Seth Weil, rows 200 kilometers a week…or 124 miles a week. To power through these 2 hour practices he said: “We eat so much food it would be disgusting if we listed all of it.”

So here’s all of it—according to Time.com – when Weil was interviewed recently. He was asked to give his typical meal.

6:00 a.m.: Two 10-oz cups of coffee; peanut butter and jelly in a flour tortilla.

6:30-9:00 a.m.: 50oz of water; 30oz of Gatorade before, during and after practice. Right after practice, a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich with avocado on an everything bagel and a side of fruit salad — strawberries, pineapples, blueberries, cantaloupe, and another 15-16 ounces of coffee.

Mid-Morning Snacks: Dried cranberries, pretzel chips and about 5 ounces of Sabra’s Supremely Spicy Hummus, with another 30-40 ounces of water.

11:30 a.m: A vegetable snack, such as arugula salad with cucumbers, red bell pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Noon: Lunch fare includes three carne asada tacos with cilantro, onion, lime and 20 ounces of water.

2:00 p.m: Before his second practice, Weil has a Cliff Builder Bar, usually mint chocolate. Before, during, after the second practice he consumes 60-80 oz of water and 20 ounces of Gatorade.

4:00 p.m.: Right after practice, a protein shake (about 24 ounces), about 20 ounces of water; and a bowl of cereal such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch and granola with 8 ounces of 2% milk.

6:30 p.m.: Dinner consists of a shredded kale salad with chick peas, carrots, red onion, lemon olive oil and vinegar dressing, salt and pepper; along with a bowl of bowtie pasta topped with two chicken breasts and another 20 ounces of water. Dessert is Graeter’s Ice Cream, mocha chip flavor.

9:00 p.m.: Right before bed, Weill has some Trader Joe’s 3-layer hummus. During the day, he also eats around 10 Altoids arctic mints

(How to eat like an Olympian – by Alice Park, Time.com, August 8, 2016)

What is the fuel we need to enable us to endure as Christians? Faith! Faith is the fuel…the energy that should drive our lives as believers. Hebrews chapter 11 lists numerous Old Testament heroes who lived by faith. Characters such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Rahab and others. 21 times the phrase “by faith” is used. How do you think God wants us to power up for the race of following him? With faith! Faith is the fuel that powers the Christian’s life.

As Christians, we need faith in Almighty God to persevere in the race of life as much as Olympic athletes need food and energy drinks to enable them to compete.

So what is this faith anyway?

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

Faith is Confidence…that’s what faith is. Confidence that God will do what He says He’s going to do. Confidence that God will always be there. Confidence that God will provide. Confidence that God will be our strength no matter what. Confidence that there really is a heaven to come.

Faith is confidence in what we hope for – the reward of heaven; and assurance about what we do not see – knowing that God is there, that Jesus is alive, that he has gone to prepare a place for us, that he is with us always.

I love the story about the kid who was at the doctors office. The doctor is listening to his heart to and just to make small talk said: “Is that batman I hear in there?” “No,” the kid said. “Batman is on my underwear. Jesus is in my heart.”

Are you that confident? If we are going to persevere in the race of life, then we must have a confident faith.

How do Olympic athletes achieve such high levels of success? Confidence. They have confidence in their abilities. Just before competing on the balance beam in the gymnastics team competition, the camera caught 16 year old Laurie Hernandez of the USA team saying to herself: “I got this.” She sure did. Her score helped propel her team to the gold medal. Confidence is the key in sports. We learn it as children from the book “The Little Engine that Could”: I think I can….I think I can…

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