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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Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy. (CSB)
Matthew 14:29 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. (CSB)
Matthew 14:19, 20 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. (CSB)