How to Run Like a Champion (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore 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, 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Running long distances is a classic test of will and character. Dealing with the physical and mental stress of training and competing are some of the ways distance running builds individual fortitude. But there are lessons that lie beyond the traditional virtues of the sport. Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality most of us ever encounter. It is a quality that should be in the life of all Christians. When we have patience in our lives it will produce certain qualities that will glorify God in our life and help us to have a good testimony.
1. STAMINA (HEBREWS 12:1)
The race we run for Christ is the most important race in the whole world, and we need to treat it that way. Our dedication to the task must never waver and we need to diligently train. Hebrews 12:1, “… and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” If we are going to effectively run the race that is before us for God, we must endure the afflictions along the way. We must not let sin side track us from the race. Also, there are some things which may not be wrong in themselves, but can be a weight and hinder us in running the race. Endurance has the never quit attitude even when things look hopeless to others.
2. SUPPORT (ROMANS 15:5-6)
We need to have patience with other Christians as God does with us. Romans 15:5-6, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is a great challenge and opportunity to minister to other believers in the spirit of godly love. This principle in practice is a great encouragement to believers, and a powerful testimony to the lost in our community as they watch what we do. God will be praised and magnified as we put the Bible into practice in this area of our lives.
3. STEADFAST (I CORINTHIANS 15:58)
I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the LORD, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the LORD.” Being “steadfast” speaks of the challenge to dig in against the difficulties of life and be stable, solidly set, dependable, anchored by God, His truth, and His grace. Your service is not a waste of time. God will honor you and use it for His glory. Although you may not see it immediately, God will use your service to Him. Don't give up because you are discouraged. Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Don’t grow weary in the good you are doing. Remember, the seeds you sow are powerful. Your seeds will bear fruit in God’s timing. You will reap a harvest in God’s perfect timing, in his “due season.”
4. SEASONED (JAMES 1:19-20)
When a believer is taught by the Holy Spirit concerning the Biblical truth of self-control, he will produce patience with others. When we are eager to hear the Bible and obey its teaching, then we will deepen our understanding and increase our fruitfulness. James 1:19-20, “Wherefore, my beloved brethen, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” God isn't looking for quick tempered people, but those who are mature, patient, and have self-control. Without patience we will hurt and hinder God's work, but with it we can further it. If we fail to inspect (control) ourselves, we will fail to influence others.
5. STANDARD (HEBREWS 12:2)
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” We must concentrate and focus on Jesus Christ. The word looking means "to focus or to keep the eyes fixed on." It means to fix your gaze upon and to look exclusively without distraction. Jesus is our example. Whenever we face difficult circumstances, His Word is our guide. We will face trials, critics, temptations, and other hurdles in our Christian race, but Jesus has shown us that through His help, we can overcome these situations. Think about your Christian race. The idea is to give complete attention to that which is before you. Like a runner in a race concentrates and focuses on the finish line, we are to have our eye fixed on Christ. If we are going to do well in this race we must keep our eyes on our Lord. Despite life's doubts and difficulties, regardless of the failures and falls, in spite of the hindrances, we can have confidence that our salvation is certain. When our race is finished we will be glorified.
Questions to Consider:
Points to Ponder:
Prayer: LORD, You have chosen the course for my life. It’s been both exciting and exhausting. However, I have a fruitful life and a finish line I have to cross. I want to thank You for the patience and joy You have given me on my course. As I run this race it’s my desire to praise You and to please You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.