Part of the Hebrews series, preached at a IBCP's Service service
What things in our lives hinder our relationship with Jesus? Is it a sin to focus on going to the gym and spending hours on Facebook? What is the 'race' that we are running in our lives?
It's all about priorities. How much time we spend every week building up our physical bodies or scrolling through Facebook in comparison with building up our relationship with Jesus?
How is running long distance races related to a spiritual race with our carnal desires? Multiple long distance runners reported that after the 10 mile mark they experience fatigue and they want to give up. Then later, they experience a second wing of strength. Often when we believe in Christ the first time we are enthusiastic and then lose the enthusiasm. How many of us 'catch a second wind'?
Opposed to a physical race, our spiritual Christian race is not a competition against one another. We are to help one another and hold each other up. And what is more, to 'fix our eyes on Jesus'.
For the race is finished for Jesus - He has already won! When temptation comes, since he was tempted in every way and won, He has the power to lift us up. He is the author and perfector of our faith.
Therefore, run straight with perseverance, focused on Jesus, who suffered for us to rescue us from spiritual death.
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1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (KJV)
2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (KJV)
18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (KJV)
15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV)
25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (KJV)