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Run the Race By Dean W. Masters

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 Run the Race   By Dean W. Masters Empty Run the Race By Dean W. Masters

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Jan 2011, 12:28 pm

Run the Race
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NOT)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to
the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially
the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance
the race that God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on
Jesus,
on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a
shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his
afterward.
Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in
heaven. 3 Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible
things
to him, so that you don't become weary and give up.
Imagine that you are in middle school in a city where the high school has
had a number of champion cross country runners. You love sports and read the
sports
pages all the time so you know all about what they have done in the past.
You graduate to high school and there in the trophy cabinets you see all the
photos of these people and their awards which they have won through the
years. One day in physical education class the cross country coach comes to
you
and says he wants you to be on his team. You never dreamed of running cross
country but the coach keeps urging you to run. You see the testimony of
those
who ran before you so you decide to run.
This is what I think the great crowd of witnesses is that Hebrews mentions.
WE can turn almost anywhere in the Bible and find someone who showed great
faith.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has a long list of people of faith. All of
them were not perfect but picked themselves up and kept on going. Other
members
of the great cloud are the many Christians we can read about in biographies.
Some are past members of the church we go to or maybe some of our relatives.
Some of you may be a witness to faith to others.
If you belong to Jesus Christ you are in a race. I consider the race to be
more of a cross country race than one on a track. Life is full of ups and
downs
and curves. WE who are in this race are here because of Jesus Christ. AS we
are running this race we can see in our minds many types of footsteps ahead
of us. These are the footsteps of the Christians who went before us. More
important is one set of footsteps, that of Jesus himself. He ran this race.
He
was fully human and fully divine. He experienced everything that we
experience. He even experienced death. He knows everything you are going
through.
If you look beside you, you will also see Jesus there. He is right there
with you no matter where you are in the race. If you have fallen or gotten
off
track He is there to help you get back into the race.
WE can also see Jesus at the finish line. He is standing there with his arms
open wide to welcome us when we get to heaven. Jesus suffered all that he
did because he knew that He would end up at the right hand of God. WE can
endure and persevere because we know that Jesus is with us and is also
waiting
for us.
Back in Greece the runners used to practice running while carrying weights
on their back. They had to take these off before the race or they would be
slowed
down. There are things that can weigh us down in our race also. These can be
things like doubt and fear. They can also be good things that keep us from
a relationship with Jesus like family, work, hobbies, etc. WE may need to
get rid of some of those weights to continue on the race.
The early runners did not wear any clothes. You could imagine trying to run
in one of those long robes like they wore. The writer of Hebrews relates
this
to sin that besets us. So many Christians have a pet sin that keeps tripping
them up. WE have to take these sins off by the power of the Holy Spirit to
continue in the race.
In a race you need to keep looking straight ahead. If you look to the side,
you are going to run in that direction. If you are running in a cross
country
race and start looking at a squirrel in a tree you may even run into
something and knock yourself down. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Don't be looking
at other
things that might tempt you to get off course.
Hebrews 12:12-13 (HCSB)
12 Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, 13 and make
straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated,
but healed
instead.
In our race some bad things may happen. God may discipline us for the wrong
things we have done but not everything bad that happens is of God's doing.
Whatever
happens, we need to learn from it. WE are not to let these things keep us
down. Get back in the race.
When you see someone else in the race who has fallen, do not kick them when
they are down. Go to them and help them up. Give them whatever they need so
they can get back in the race. WE who belong to Jesus Christ are in this
race together. All who reach the finish line are winners.
You may be near the starting line, in the middle of the race or near the end
but wherever you are, continue to run the race.
By Dean W. Masters
Owner of the Master's List.
We would love you to join us:
http://groupsyahoo.com/group/masterslist
Unedited redistribution approved
Admin
Admin
Admin

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