Devotion – Hebrews 12

Sorry I missed a couple weeks with the devotion on the blog.  I write these and include them in the ongoing blog as a constant reminder that God has spoken and we need to read, study, and know the Word in order to grow as Christ followers.  I hope you enjoy these each week.  My encouragement is that you don’t just read the blog.  Pick up a Bible and read the text the devotion is based on.  God bless.

On your mark!  Get set!  GO!  Running a race can be fun, but to be good at running a race takes a lot of dedication and endurance.  To go to the Olympics requires dedication and hours upon hours of practice and conditioning.  This discipline is a part of the preparation that makes on Olympic runner great.  At the race, a runner will only be successful if he or she does everything possible to win.

Before the race, a runner will remove all clothing that would slow him or her down.  There is no room for sweat pants, tennis shoes, or a hoodie.  Runners must wear the lightest running shoes, and the most aerodynamic shirt and shorts.  He or she must then stretch and get mentally ready for the race.  When the runner gets in the blocks, he or she will need to realize the goal of the race, and get their focus on the finish line.  As a great runner runs, he or she will be motivated by the cheer of the crowd and the possibility of victory.  That motivation will keep him or her going even when the legs and lungs want to give out.

The author of Hebrews has compared the life of faith to a race.  He is challenging every person to get in the race by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  But receiving Christ is nothing more than the starting block, the beginning.  After that comes the running.  We must lay aside the old clothing of our sin that holds us back.  We must get our focus on the goal, to run to Jesus Christ.  On top of this, we must run with endurance.  There will be times in the race when you feel like giving up, but keep your eyes on the finish line and remember the prize.  And don’t forget, we have the whole stadium of heaven filled with the saints who have run the race before us.

There is something else that is special about the race of the Christian life.  This race is a relay.  It is not an individual performance, but a team effort.  Hebrews 11 told us of the great heroes of the race that have come before us.  People from the time of the Bible until now have been running the race and passing the baton.  Someone passed the baton to you when they shared the Gospel with you and you got in the race.  Now it is your turn to run and pass the baton.  But you cannot loose!  This race is a victorious race!  Jesus Christ Himself ran the first leg of this race, and put the other team out of commission, and Jesus is going to take the baton at the end and run the anchor leg (“He is the author and perfecter of our faith”).  The first leg of the race was the cross.  The last leg is the victory tour when Jesus Christ returns.  Keep your focus on Jesus, He is cheering you on!  And keep running the race!

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