How will you run in 2017
“Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 MSG
How will you run the race in 2017? With the beginning of a new year may look towards a fresh start, a new race so to speak. As with any competition, there is preparation, strategy, and performance. So what will you do this next year? In 1954 two runners named Roger Bannister, and John Landy both broke the 4 minute it was because of preparation and focus. As we look towards running our race in 2017 this verse in Hebrews gives us three key points to consider.
Follow the example
“Do you see what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?” v1
Many people read this verse and think that there are those who have gone before are just cheering us on. Hebrews 11 tell us of the amazing pioneers who have set the example for us. Much more than just cheering for our success our Leaders, Pastors, Elders, and Founders have set an example that we should follow. Their prayer, dedication to The Word, and loyalty to the vision have given us a successful game plan to win the race why should we try to reinvent the process when the path is already made for us.
Be prepared to run
“It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.” v1
Runners who run the race prepare their bodies to be ready for the race. Whether on Olympic sprinter or a high school athlete each one prepares themselves to compete. We should also prepare ourselves to run the race by setting aside anything that might distract us. This could be straight out sin or even simple complacency. Imagine trying to run a race carrying a big backpack or suitcase it would not be effective and we should not expect to even be competitive let alone win the race. Why do we choose to hold on to things that we know God does not want for us as we try to go through life. Let’s set aside the things that we know are holding us back and be prepared to run the race.
Focus on the prize
“Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God.” v2
Runners run with the finish line in mind. A runner does not run the race looking backward, it will only slow them down. We should run our race looking forward and not concerned with the things from our past. Think of Lot’s wife, she was distracted by the glitter of the city and all the things she thought she was leaving behind and we all know what happened to her when she looked back. This year our desire should be to remember what God has done for us but be constantly focused on the ultimate prize of Jesus Christ.
As we strive to go deeper and enhance our walk with Christ we hope these devotions will give you strength and encouragement as you continue to press towards the prize.