Daily D – Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. HEBREWS 12:1-2 (NLT)
Jesus ran the race all the way to the end.
There are two primary ways to become disqualified in a race at a track meet. One is jumping the gun. This is what happens when a runner starts before the gun is fired. The other is to fail to finish the race.
From the first day of workouts for track and field in junior high, we were told to always finish the race no matter what. Only finishers are awarded points. A relay runner has to finish his or her leg of the race so that the others on that team have a chance to win.
I limped to the finish line on several occasions, but I always finished the race.
Jesus is the all-time champion. He started (initiated) and finished (perfected) well. He ran all the way to the end. If he had not, he would have been nothing more than a footnote in a minor story from the Ancient Middle East.
How does a runner persevere through all of the training and preparation and the intense competition? It would be easier to join the crowds in the stands or on the couch in front of the television. A runner prepares well so that he or she can perform well and take home the rewards of the race. A runner who wins wins not only for himself or herself but also for his or her team. Winners elevate everyone.
Jesus ran with endurance all the way to the end. He did not stop short of the finish line. That was another idea deeply impressed upon us. We were to run all the way through the finish line. We were not to slow down until we passed the finish line. Many races are won or lost by the lean at the line.
Jesus gave everything he had to win that race. He won it for you and for me.
Now we have our own races to run. Let’s run like Jesus. He prepared well. He performed well. He did nothing to get himself disqualified. He won.
Life is not easy. It is harder if we choose not to prepare or to participate meaningfully. It is harder if we break the rules. It is harder when we give up. It is harder when we stop caring.
Let us prepare our hearts and minds day by day. Let us honor God and serve others all day every day. Let us live with self-discipline to keep us on task. Let us live with self-control to run away from anything that would set us back.
Let us run to win. Let us run like Jesus.
I will run to win.
Our Father, put me in the right race. Teach me how to run it. Train me to perform at a high level. Give the strength and determination to run to win. Amen.
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Psalm 23:3, 4 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me. (CSB)
Daniel 5:11 “There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the magicians, mediums, Chaldeans, and diviners. (CSB)
Daniel 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding that the king consulted them about, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and mediums in his entire kingdom. (CSB)