Summary: The importance of faithfully running the race we are called to run...

Date Written: April 4, 2006

Date Preached: April 5, 2006

Where Preached: OZHBC (Wed - PM Service)

Sermon Details:

Series Title: Basic Bible Studies

Sermon Title: Running God’s Race

Sermon Text: Hebrews 12:1-3


Have you ever stopped to think about what the Bible would look like today if… it were being written today! I think that many of the illustrations found in the Bible would be about football, basketball, baseball… or one of the many other sports activities our culture is so close to…

Why do I think this? It is because the Bible as we know it today was inspired by the Holy Spirit and He guided those writers to use the athletics of their day to illustrate spiritual truths… so why would today be any different?

In our passage tonight [Heb 12:1-3] we find the writer of Hebrews sharing with us that our walk in Christ is something like running a race in a stadium filled with those who have already run the race…

The writer calls our attention to those who have run the race before us… He calls them ‘a great cloud of witnesses’ and from these people we can and should draw encouragement and wisdom for living as Christ has called us to live…

God even provides us with those people right here in our fellowship… those who have living for Christ for many years should be the ones we look to when our race becomes difficult and tedious… they have been where we are… they have the wisdom of experience… tap into that wisdom…

Second, the writer stresses the extreme importance of our focus in our walk with Christ… our focus must be on HIM and not scattered among all the other details of life. When we focus on Jesus, the obstacles of life are broken down and we can deal with them for what they truly are… mere inconveniences…

Finally the writer shares with us the greatest example that we can have for living the Christian life and that is JESUS CHRIST Himself! He is the ultimate in example and wisdom… and action…

Jesus is our example and we are called to follow Him… Jesus Himself instructed us to, ‘deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me…” Mark 8:34

So tonight I want us to look at following Christ… what we can do to be a better follower of Jesus… I want to look at 2 very simply ways we can employ in our lives that will make us a more effective and more obedient and more excited follower of Christ!


Now this sounds overly simple, but I am here to tell you today… the Christian life is NOT supposed to be complicated and difficult. Although the Christian life SEEMS to be difficult and complicated… it is NOT Jesus who makes it that way… it is simply US trying to make things more complicated than they have to be…

The duty of each believer is to FOCUS on Christ and allow Him to lead, guide and direct your steps… How complicated can that be? When someone is guiding you step by step and you know they care about you beyond what anyone else does…how can you NOT trust them and rely upon them… how could you NOT focus on them.

But even with me saying all that… it is a great challenge for us to focus on Jesus and ONLY Jesus… this is because for us to focus on Jesus and Jesus alone it means that we are going to have to take our eyes off of the other ‘things’ of this world… our focus must be for Christ and none other!

And the pattern for this type of dedication is laid out by the life of Christ Himself… as the writer of Hebrews shares with us… He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith…

When here on this world, Jesus focused on the will of the Father and not on what would benefit Him. His focus was on God’s plan and purpose…even though it caused Him grief, pain and loss… even though it brought ridicule…Jesus was focused and likewise we should be focused in our walk with Him!

Jesus is what it is ALL about… the alpha and omega… the beginning and the end… He’s everything from A to Z… I believe one reason focusing on Christ first and foremost in life for the believer is so hard because we fail to realize that it is ALL about Him!

And the reason we can KNOW this is that Jesus has run the race… Jesus has fought the fight and Jesus was and still is VICTORIOUS!

God designed the race and Jesus gladly and willingly ran it for us… as an example, but also as the perfect sacrifice for our sin! Jesus welcomed and embraced God’s will for His life… just as we must welcome and embrace God’s will for OUR life!

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