Monday, July 30, 2018

Run For Your Life

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-4
Running, whether for pleasure or for competition requires much discipline.  Discipline begins with purpose or having a reason to do something.  We can do almost anything if we want to bad enough.  That "want to"is the purpose of our effort.  We don't put out a total effort for the things that we feel are not important.  The importance of your goal will determine the effort you put forth in your life.
The people in the stands have expectations for us as well - "cloud of witnesses”.  There is often that concept of the 12th man in a football game as the crowd brings encouragement to the home team.  To run for others is often a strong incentive.  Parents, teachers, friends, or even preacher.  But it must become YOUR purpose to succeed.  
The Training Is Importantlet us throw off everything that hinders… (Heb. 12:1)
For a man to compete he must be in condition.  For example, can you imagine a runner coming to the track dressed in a long trench coat and combat boots saying he was going to win? If the runner weighed 300 lbs. and was running a 100-yard dash would you bet on him to win or lose?  The one who approaches the track unfit shows a lack of desire or intention to win.
Training For Life Must Be In All Areas To Be Effective.
It takes only one weak area to be defeated. For example, picture a weightlifter approaching the bar. A weightlifter can lose who has strong arms and neck muscles but weak legs.  If his mind cannot concentrate he will also fail to give his all. 
Knowing our areas of weakness will help us to grow stronger in our personal life. The sin that so easily entangleswill often be the one which so frequently trips us.
In the race of life we must be careful to observe the areas of our life that need to be stripped away to make us more effective runners.  
The Method Is Importantwith perseverance…
There are always those who can jump high but they cannot walk straight. (Meaning those who can be real committed for a moment but can't live it out.)  An important quality is faithfulness.  Life is not a sprint or a dash but a distance race.  Life is not measured by our momentary gains as by our lifetime achievements.  The word "perseverance" means endurance or hanging in there when the going gets tough.
The ability to run is developed by running.  When a man is preparing for a long-distance effort he will not begin by going out every day and running the full distance.  He will build up to that distance and train his body. Each day he will find it easier to run the shorter distances.
You will never be a successful without trying.  To try and fail is understandable - To fail to try is inexcusable.  When you do fail, don’t let temporary failures create an attitude of being incompetent.

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

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