"...Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
Running a race - or any other athletic event - requires focus, discipline, and dedication. You have to be willing to sacrifice anything that will slow you down. Cast it aside, keep your eyes on the goal, and keep pushing.
The Lord Jesus did that for us. Nothing was allowed to stand in the way of achieving our salvation. He had no permanent dwelling; He was homeless. He spent every moment teaching, healing, seeing to the needs of those around Him. It seems that aside from eating and sleeping, He spent the “off” time in prayer, communing with and getting direction from His Father.
We are called to keep our eyes on Him and follow His example. We aren’t here just to “get ahead.” We’re here to serve the Lord. We’re here to know Him and to make Him known to those around us: our family, our children and grandchildren, our neighbors, coworkers, and whoever else the Lord brings to us.
Keep your eyes on the goal; on Heaven. Fix your eyes on Jesus; follow His example. Don’t let the concerns of this world (“what will people think?”) and especially those clingy sinful habits (“just this once”) slow you down or distract you.
Your place in Heaven has been already set aside with your name on it. “I go to prepare a place for you,” Jesus said. This is the last lap, what long distance runners call the “kick zone.” Hit the finish line with style. We’re surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses,” cheering us on from Heaven.
Lord Jesus, give me strength for this stretch. Keep my eyes on You. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles