The Christian life is a race. This thought comes from Hebrews 12:1-2. These verses say, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth 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.” Here we have it told unto us that our life is a “race” that has been set before us.
The Hebrews’ penman has just spoken of all of the great and faithful people of olden times, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets, and so many others. Reference is made in verses 33 through 38 of the previous chapter to people who “. . . through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.” These great men and women of God are truly remarkable examples. They ought to encourage and motivate us to work more and more for the Lord every day.
I Corinthians 9:24 says, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” The prize is eternal happiness. I sure want that kind of happiness, don’t you? Considering the lives of these great men and women of God who had run with patient endurance that race that was set before them, we should lay aside any sin, which can cause us to not be able to live as God would have us to live, and live as God has called us to live in His Word.
– Jason Gann, TBC Registrar