Run To Win

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” The writer of Hebrews reminds us that those that preceded us in the Old Testament as examples of faith, were really not special people, but people that trusted a special God. As a matter of fact, we should far exceed their achievements, because we are born-again people and they were not. They did however have some qualities that some of us need to develop in order to exceed or even be considered along side of them in the “Hall of Fame of Faith.”
The writer tells us ‘let us lay aside EVERY weight and EVERY (implied) sin,,,” This is a command. It is something that we have been empowered to do, commanded to do, and expected to do. What weights (excuses) and sins are holding us back from running this race unto completeness and being victorious in all that we do? 2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph and makes manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks be unto God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is nothing holding us back to walk this earth like Jesus did. It’s just a matter of us, in obedience to God’s command, to lay aside EVERY weight (excuse) and EVERY sin that ensnares us. The devil is not a problem. Sin is not a problem. There are no excuses that invalidate what God says we are, what we have and what we can do. I realize many people are not used to being challenged like this. Many ministers coddle and make excuses for their people and themselves for not expecting what the New Testament teaches.
The word patience could also be interpreted endurance. Hebrew 10:36 “For you have need of patience or endurance that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.” This race or Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. Christians quit too easily, and when things get difficult they don’t endure, hence the promise that God said “yes” to and they said “amen” to is never experienced because they give up too easily.
In closing, we will never lay aside the weights and sins or exhibit the endurance to see the race finished if we take our eyes off of the prize at the end of the finish line – Jesus! Look at the attitude of joy Jesus is said to have while enduring the cross and shame that He went through. We have not endured such contradiction of sinners or strived against sin by resisting unto blood. Jesus is our example. He is set down at the right hand of God. So are we. But He finished His course. We are still running the race. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that those that run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (a castaway). Run to win!