1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The first step is assessment, we need to have the right preparation. The second step is:
We need the right determination. Hebrews 12:1 says: “and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” “Let us run” is a command to “keep on running” and to do it with perseverance. That means we “run the race that is before us and never give up.” Attitude affects action, so often we tie our attitude to results instead of the race. When things are going well and we see results we keep going but when things become rough we quit. We must remember that this is a marathon with mountains and moments when we want to quit but you can’t pursue Christ without going through the problems. We are also called to run “the race marked out for us” this is not a pointless pursuit but one designed by our Maker. In Ephesians 2:10 we are told that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Before we were born or even before creation began God marked out our race. Many of us are on the wrong track trying to please self instead of pursuing the Savior. Where the rat race is exhausting the Redeemers is exhilarating, today too many Christians have made this jog a job instead of a joy. What if we made the point running to the redeemer, what if our priority was His presence? This race isn’t about trudging along on a treadmill going nowhere, its trusting Jesus no matter where we are. The third step is:
We should have the right motivation. Hebrews 12:2 says: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” Fix your eyes on Jesus not your job, it is so easy in this race to focus on self instead of the Savior. Paul is reminding us that it is about the Master not me or your reputation. This is a race for the Redeemer not my reputation or some personal record. In one of the classic Rose Bowl football games back in 1929, Roy Riegels desperately wanted his team to win. In the second quarter Roy Riegels scooped up a loose ball cutting in and out of traffic, eluding tacklers with breath-taking athleticism. He sprinted the distance of the field running 69 yards and was finally tackled one yard shy of the goal line by his own teammate. Roy lost his bearings and had been running the wrong way. For the rest of his life he was not known for his remarkable athletic abilities but his blunder and was called Roy “Wrong Way” Riegels. We are to run with purpose and power but ultimately what really matters is the right destination. That is why we must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith, the Savior should be the sole reason why we run. May be today you have a determined run but it’s just in the wrong direction and you feel like you have blown the game. At half time Riegels was so distraught he just sat in the corner hanging his head in shame. But then the coach did the unthinkable, he called for the same team to take the field for the second half including Riegels. Roy protested telling the coach, I can’t do it, I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined myself, I’ve ruined the University of California and I couldn’t face that crowd to save my life.” Coach Price responded by saying “Roy, get up and go back out there the game is only half over.” So you’ve lost your bearings and blown it, you’ve been running the wrong way, well grace says the race isn’t over so get back out there and focus on the Father not your fumble. Looking to Jesus brings into focus the cross with its suffering and shame but it also brings into focus the finish, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the throne. Jesus endured and so must we, there will be problems along the path but in in the end there will be peace. Focusing on Jesus means focusing on the finish, are you tired of waffling and wavering, then today why not answer the call to journey with Jesus?