Hebrews Part 11: The Race
Hebrews 12: RUNNING WELL
The writers kicks off chapter 12 by saying as we run the Christian life we are surrounded by crowds. The hero’s of the faith, men and women who ran the same race as us before. People like Noah who anticipated something, then acted and moved in response built a boat and persevered when mocked in response to faith. These people are watching the present day believers, their legacy cheers us on to take our turn in the same race they once ran.
Their stories of faith are written to encourage us to run well. Let us, let you, let me, let us run our race now. it's our turn to anticipate, act and persevere in response to faith. on. Don’t relax before the tape, stay on your feet until the winning post.
Three Keys to running the race
Key 1: Lay aside.
There are things that need to be dealt with and discarded that will otherwise ensnare or obstruct the athlete. The things that most often slow us down and get us off track are morally neutral that you wouldn't call sinful but like sin slow us down.
So we need to ask our selves “What robs my affections? What robs my heart from really wanting to know and walk with and experience the fullness of Christ?” What stirs my affections for Jesus Christ? What stirs me to run well? If it weighs you down, slows you down. Need to lay it aside.
Key 2. Run By Faith
What motivated the hero’s of the chapter 11 to run like they did? At the very heart of their running they were shrewd investors, they had seen something, been gripped by something that so captivated their priorities that they wouldn’t settle for anything less. They fixed their eyes by faith upon the ultimate goal and the glorious compensations.
Abraham, by faith, he just got up and left. He didn't even know were he was going. He went because he had seen by faith the city of God, a better country.
Moses: Rejected wealth, status, privilege and power, the fleeting pleasures of sin. Considered reproach for Christ of greater value compared to the treasures of Egypt.
VERSE 36 Others experienced mocking, flogging, chains, imprisonment, stoned, sawn in two, destitute, afflicted, mistreat, by faith in a superior reality. incomparable compensations
Being captivated by a vision is what drives people all around us to achieve their goals. Like the swimmer training for 2012 “Her life revolves around swimming”. These people fix their eyes on an event. For a temporal, passing, fading prize.
You won’t run well if you haven’t become captivated by a superior reality. All you will have is begrudging running, Christianity is not about trying to be good in order to win what you already have as gift. It’s about running according to a growing revelation.
KEY 3: FIX YOUR EYES
When we feel we cannot take another set in the race, we need to consider the race that Jesus ran. What he has already accomplished is the key to us running well. His the author the perfecter of our faith. We can only run as we rely completely on Him. When we stumble, fall, get tangled and weighed down, we need to look to Jesus our wonderful high priest in heaven He triumphed and in His strength and grace and energy so can we.