Thursday, October 30, 2008

Enduring the Race

Occasionally, I walk for exercise. I wish I could say I exercise regularly, but I'm still working on that. ;0)

When I walk, all the children either walk or ride bicycles with me. It does make it more enjoyable, . . . . . .except Little Sister can't really keep up. Her tricycle just won't go that fast, and her little legs just don't have the walking power to keep up with her "athletic" mama. (I promise. . . .I say that sarcastically.)

Soooooooo. . . . . many times, when Little Sister has exhausted all means of keeping up, guess where she ends up. . . . . .yep, in my arms or on my back.

(And I wonder why I don't stay committed to walking?)

Truly, it slows a body down. So much for power walking. . . . . .

Yet, no wonder the Lord tells us in Hebrews 12 to "lay aside every weight."

"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" (v.1).

Spiritually speaking, Believers are in a race. It is a race that is set before us, and the only way we can run with endurace is by laying aside the sin which so easily ensnares us and slows us down.

What sin so easily besets you? Selfishness? Bitterness? Gossip? Anger? Lying? Worldliness? Appearance of evil? Discontentedness? Lack of faith? Lay it aside!

We can be encouraged by those who have gone before us. The "Chapter of Faith" (Hebrews 11) should bring us great encouragment and inspiration. Consider the circumstances of those heroes of the faith (Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, Samuel, the prophets). You are not the first to struggle in this race!

O.K., so we lay our sin aside. . . .what then? We fix our eyes on Jesus!

"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

The New Living Translation states it similarly: "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish."

It all depends upon Christ! Our faith has depended upon Him from the beginning, and He will finish it for us! He simply asks us to lay aside our sin and keep our eyes fixed upon Him.

Therefore, keep your eyes on Christ and not on your circumstances. Keep your eyes on Christ and not on others. Keep your eyes on Christ and not on yourself.

Are you in the race?

In the Heart of our Home,