Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Race Is Marked Out For Us

Hebrews 12:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

112015 Ray McDonaldA few years ago – one of my daughters was preparing for a race. She started a routine that would allow her to slowly work up to the distance of the race. It was a half marathon I think – maybe a full marathon – but I think it was a half. She worked hard to get into shape. She was doing very well until an injury slowed her prep work.  Despite the injury – she got back at it as soon as possible.  She had a plan.

I’ve been walking lately – nearly two miles at times.  I’ve also been playing some basketball. I want to work up to five miles. I have an app on my cell phone that through the GPS feature on the phone tracks my steps and gives me encouragement along the way by sharing the distance and time and at the end gives me updates on how I’ve done.   I also have a Fitbit which helps track steps.  The iPhone program even sends me an e-mail if I walk further per activity – per week – and per month than ever before. It shares other milestones as well.

I participated in a 5 mile event once and remember that they had the course marked out for us so we couldn’t make a wrong turn. It was through the Naval Academy and surrounding area. It was a pleasant walk – made better by the opportunity to witness my faith along the way with a friend of a friend who later accepted Christ and joined our local church. Having the course marked out for us was a great blessing.

One of the things my daughter learned is to have the right equipment. Good shoes are a must when you are running a long race. Clothes are important too – clothes that are tight enough to not cause too much friction but loose enough to allow for movement. Trying to remove everything that might hinder her in her race was important. I promised her I would be at the race to cheer her on and congratulate her when she finished – and I was there! Her goal was to run the best she could in a way that would allow her to finish the race – she did fantastic and finished well. If she ran with those who have done this many times before – she might not have the energy to finish. Each runner must approach their race with their own game plan – but all have the goal of finishing the race.

The passage we are using today is a portion of Hebrews 12:1 – and reads – let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Here it is in partial context. Hebrews 12:1-2 – 1 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. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The author or Hebrews is writing about the race of life in this passage – the walk of faith that is before us. We are surrounded by a host of witnesses – the saints that have gone before us – and they are cheering us on like I did for my daughter in her race. We are told to throw off everything that might hinder our walk – maybe some habits or sins that might weigh us down. We are told to persevere and to run the race marked out before us – our faith journey – marked out for us in God’s Holy Word. We are told to keep our eyes on Jesus – someone who has walked this life of faith before us and who has modeled how it is done.

Strive each day to walk the journey of faith as faithfully as possible. Remove anything that hinders and keep your eyes on Jesus! Good advice – good words of encouragement.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

March 2, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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