Summary: The Bible describes life like a race, not a hundred yard dash, mind you, but a marathon. And while everyone runs in this race, not everyone will finish well. This sermon looks at how we can finish this race well, even when we feel like giving up.
A Faith That Works
“Running God’s Race”
Let me ask three critical questions
• What have you felt like giving up on? Is it your dreams, goals, marriage? Do you feel like giving up on God, or do you feel like giving up period?
• What have you left undone, a commitment, project, promise, vow, or pledge.
• What’s holding you back, distracting you? Is it a relationship, fear or worry, job or possessions, how about misplaced morals or values?
These are critical questions when we consider what the writer of Hebrews says,
“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.” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)
The Bible describes life like a race, not a hundred yard dash, mind you, but a marathon. And while everyone runs in this race, not everyone will finish well. They’ll get discouraged, distracted, hurt, or they’ll just give up. Eventually they’ll find themselves sitting on the sidelines with their dreams unrealized and giving up on their God given potential.
They leave a lot of things in life unfinished. They start out well, but soon they get tired, bored, and distracted. They never finish and life feels unfulfilled. They’ve strewn the rubble of uncompleted project, unfulfilled commitments, and unrealized promises throughout the course of their lives.
The Apostle Paul talks about this life as a race saying if we want to receive the prize of heaven at the end, we’ll need to run it according to the rules, 1 Timothy 2:5.
But still people live life saying, “Life Happens.” Yet what’s also true is that life is what we make of it.
Our character is not determined in how well we start the race, but how we finish it. This is why Paul could say,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV)
Tonight we’ll be looking at how we can finish this race well, even when we feel like giving up. We’ll be looking at four things everyone needs to do if they want to finish well and hear the Lord say, “Well done good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of the Lord.” (Matthew 25:21 NKJV)
1. Remove the Hindrances
We need to remove those things that drag us down and hold us back from being everything God has called us to be.
“Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” (Hebrews 12:1b NKJV)
Now this is not a gentle removal. The wording means violently taking off and throwing it away. If you were water skiing in your snowsuit and you fell in the water, you’d be violently tearing away your clothing before you sunk to the bottom.