Running the Race: Hebrews 12:1
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.
Let us run with PERSEVERANCE the race marked out for us.
So this is what I think of when I picture us running the race….(Video)
Goal in sight
What is really looks like is a all over the place:
Where is the start, where is the end?
holding children, groceries, and sometime your husband.
Oh, and your job.
It would be hard to run with multiple hats on.
So how do we run our race better?
1)Great cloud of witnesses:
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
- Acquire wise counsel
- Not someone who always agrees with you.
- I recommend three people. The ones who call when you are standing on the cliff of decision and say “Whats Up”
- Throw off everything that hinders
Greek Runner: Throw off everything including clothes. (Shopping, peer pressure, clothes, spending money)
Runners train with weights around their ankles but they don’t run the race with them on.
Shark Tonic – Have you ever heard of shark “tonic”? It isn’t a serum that prevents shark attacks or a medicine given to sharks. The actual term is “tonic immobility,” described as “a natural state of paralysis that animals enter. . . . Sharks can be placed in a tonic immobility state by turning them upside down. The shark remains in this state of paralysis for an average of 15 minutes before it recovers.”
Imagine, a dangerous shark can be made vulnerable simply by turning it upside down. The state of tonic immobility makes the shark incapable of movement.
Things that “mark you”
TAKE THEM OFF
Evaluate the positive things as well:
Weight Loss – The army of Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. At one critical point, it appeared that his troops might be defeated. The soldiers had taken so much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted down and were losing their effectiveness in combat.
Alexander commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and burned. The men complained bitterly but soon saw the wisdom of the order. Someone wrote, “It was as if wings had been given to them—they walked lightly again.” Victory was assured.
Lets look at it this way; Ray Stedman says:
Not is it a sin, but does it help me race?
Ray Stedman applies this teaching about encumbrances writing that…
“the race of the Christian life is not fought well or run well by asking, “what’s wrong with this or that?” but by asking, “is it in the way of greater faith and greater love and greater purity and greater courage and greater humility and greater patience and greater self-control? Not ; Is it a sin? But: Does it help me run! Is it in the way?…Don’t ask about your music, your movies, your parties, your habits: What’s wrong with it? Ask: Does it help me RUN the race!? Does it help me RUN – for Jesus?
Lay Aside: Apotithemi in Hebrew: Lay Aside, put way from NORMAL location.
Normal things: Athletes watch what they eat, what they wear, how they sleep, how they spend their time.
8 hours sleep, 3 hours for meals and conversation, 10 hours for work and Travel still leaves you 3 hours left A DAY! 21 hours a week and 84 hours a month.
What are you doing with you time?
Take a moment and write: What do you do during your “spare time”. Watch TV, Eat? Talk on the phone, shop, read, cook?
It is up to you what you do with your time.
Effective: A ONCE action
Reflexive: YOU lay it aside
It requires participation. I was told once the race is like an moving sidewalk. If you aren’t moving forward you are moving backwards.
Athletic training: Exchange BETTER FOR BEST!
Don’t ask, What’s wrong with this or that…instead ask..does it help me run.
BIG ONES: Pornography, alcohol, flirting (adultery)
Are you greater at love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Ask your kids…am I kinds? As your husband or best friend. Do they pause?
Look at the history on your computer.
Watch TV with your Pastor sitting by you…your Mom…your kids.
Write down everything you did this week.
Have you tithed? Have you prayed? Have your read your Bible? This is water to a runner!
RUN THE RACE THE BEST YOU CAN!