Summary: Milton Berle, David Letterman, & Chuck Norris on running. A World Class Runner gives us the secrets of running our Christian race at peak performance to a photo-flash finish befitting the accolades of heaven!
THE SECRETS OF A WORLD CLASS RUNNER
1. Comedian MILTON BERLE said, “My doctor recently told me that jogging could add years to my life. I tried it. He’s right! I feel ten years older already.”
2. David Letterman said, "I pulled a hamstring during the New York City Marathon." Letterman added, "An hour into the race, I jumped off the couch..."
3. Someone has observed, “For every mile you run, you add one minute to your life. This enables you, at the age of 85, to spend an additional five months in a nursing home at $5,000/month.”
4. A blonde went out for a run. She came to a river and couldn’t see a bridge anywhere nearby. She spotted another blonde on the opposite bank. "Yoohoo doll!" she shouts, "How can I get to the other side?" The second blonde looked up the river then down the river then shouted back, "You’re already on the other side!"
5. CHUCK NORRIS ONCE RAN A MARATHON BACKWARDS...JUST TO SEE WHAT SECOND PLACE LOOKS LIKE.
B. BACKGROUND : NY Marathon
1. The New York City Marathon is a major annual marathon 26.219 miles long that courses through the five boroughs of New York City. It is one of the largest marathons in the world, with 45,103 finishers in 2010.
2. It’s among the pre-eminent long-distance annual running events in the United States and is one of the World Marathon Majors and has been run every year since 1970.
3. It is held on the first Sunday of November and attracts professional competitors and amateurs from all over the world. It has rewards: a $600,000 purse, 2 million spectators and 315 million more watching on TV!
4. It’s this kind of event that the writer of Hebrews had in mind when he wrote chapter 12:1-7, representing the Christian life as similar to a long-distance marathon. Let’s take a look at it.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “…the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Heb. 12:1-7.
1. We’re going to listen as a World Class Runner gives us the secrets of running our Christian race at peak performance to a photo-flash finish befitting the accolades of heaven!
2. First he describes the scene of the contest, then the impediments we face, and lastly the 4 encouragements God has given us to spur us on in our final relay.
I. SCENE OF THE CONTEST
A. PREVIOUS – HEAVEN’S HALL OF FAME
1. Hebrews chapter 11 is an incredible honor roll of the greatest spiritual athletes of all time.
2. Their struggles and exploits are described, showing how they centered their greatest energies on overthrowing evil and doing mighty deeds to enlarge the kingdom of God to bring glory to Him.
3. They have gone before us and are waiting in heaven at the finish line before the dais of the Great Judge.
B. SCENE AT THE FINISH LINE
1. Chapter 12 begins with the scene at the finish line. The multitude of onlookers -- of angels, powers, and the saints of all time -- have swelled to such great ranks that the enormous grandstands are packed to the limits.
2. They are there to behold the glorious spectacle of men and women agonizing in the carrying out of God’s will for their lives with fastings, prayers and tears.
3. As the runners begin their desperate final run, the multitudes jump to their feet.
4. The great roar of the numberless throng -- cheering and screaming, clapping and stomping -- all combine to provide a great volley of encouragement, urging us to give it all we’ve got to complete the final stretch in victory!
II. THE IMPEDIMENTS WE FACE
But in the midst of this joyous picture, the writer describes the problems and challenges the runners of faith must struggle with.
A. THE THINGS THAT OPPOSE US