Brick #64 – Hebrews 12:1-3


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

It has rightfully been said that the Christian life is more like a marathon that a 100 yard dash. A marathon requires endurance. This passage is giving us some tips on what it takes to endure – what it takes to still be standing and to finish strong even when the race we are running becomes really really hard.

Tip #1 – We can be encouraged knowing that those saints who have already run their race and endured to the end are cheering us on and rooting for us to persevere courageously. When life is hard, stop and listen to this cloud of witnesses and take heart knowing that they have gone through incredible hardship to get to the finish line.

Tip #2 – Like a runner who would not ever think about running his race while carrying 10 pound weights, we must ruthlessly rid ourselves of anything that weighs us down and keeps us from running efficiently. These weights may not even be sinful but nonetheless they are hindering us from faithfully following Jesus. Identify them and do whatever it takes to rid yourself of worthless weight. This will involve hard choices.

Tip #3 – You can no doubt easily identify the sin in your life that “clings so closely.” You have tried to get rid of it but it keeps finding a way back into your life and just won’t let go. You try to shake it off but it just clings even more fiercely. How do you get rid of it? Here are a few thoughts: 1) Confess it as sin before God – agree with God that it is sin and that you want to be rid of it once and for all. 2) Find and memorize an appropriate Scripture verse and say it out loud to the evil one at least 10x each day. 3) Whenever you are facing the temptation to give in to this sin shout “NO” as loud as you can wherever you are and whoever might be around. 4) Find someone you trust to confide in who can both hold you accountable and can help untangle the sin that clings so closely.

Tip #4 – Keep looking ahead to Jesus  and keep your eyes on the cross. Don’t look back and wallow in shame or guilt. Don’t look around at other people who are content to live with their sin. Focus on the One who loves you, who forgives you, and who endured the hardship of the cross to gain victory over sin for you.

Tip #5 – By faith, allow the “joy of the Lord to be your strength.” There WILL be difficult days and difficult years. But find joy in the journey as you anticipate crossing the finish line and hearing the thunderous ovation from the cloud of witnesses and hearing the voice of your Heavenly Father say, “Well done! Enter now into the joy of your reward.”

May this brick help you to endure the hardships that this life brings and to run your race with ruthless tenacity as you look forward to the glorious finish line.

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