Running the Race

Running the Race

Life is hard, our faith is fragile, distractions are everywhere, and the pressure to give up and give in as a Christian is becoming greater and greater. In our post-modern, post-Christian culture, many followers of Jesus are haunted by the thoughts of bailing out altogether. Some wonder if it is even possible to remain faithful and make it to the end as a Christian. No doubt, there are those within our own church family facing this very struggle.

So, how can we persevere to the end and “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering”? (Hebrews 10:23)

The book of Hebrews was written to first-century Jewish Christians, many of whom were facing great persecution because of their association with Jesus. Some lost their jobs, others lost their homes. Some would lose their families, and several would even lose their lives. As a result, many were choosing to walk away from the faith and abandon Jesus altogether. In light of all of this, the writer of Hebrews says, “Don’t reject Jesus!” He emphasizes the superiority of Jesus as …

  • God’s final Word to this world (chapters 1-2)
  • Our only hope for rest in the new creation (chapters 3-4)
  • The eternal priest that reconciles God and man (chapters 5-8)
  • The once for all perfect sacrifice for sin (chapters 9-10)

Through it all, the writer provides very clear and sober warnings of the dangers of turning back and abandoning Jesus.

The pressure to give up and give in as a Christian is becoming greater and greater. So, how can we persevere to the end and hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering? Click To Tweet

If you read Hebrews, you will find it to be a passionate appeal toward faithful endurance and steadfast loyalty to Jesus. And while there may be some losing heart and giving up, we find that true believers will not ultimately throw away their confidence in Jesus (Hebrews 10:35-36) but will, by faith, endure! And to encourage us to a life of faithful endurance, we are reminded of those who persevered in spite of great difficulties (Hebrews 11). With all of these examples of faithful endurance, we are encouraged to do the same – faithfully endure and run the race that is set before us.

On Sunday evening, June 6 at 5:00, we will begin a series of studies through Hebrews 12 and consider how we can faithfully endure in our race. We will learn together that the strength to endure is not a matter of willpower or human determination. It is an endurance sustained by the goodness and grace of God. And as we learn to focus on the person and work of Jesus we find the strength to remain faithful to God – even in the face of difficulty and pressure.

The strength to endure is not a matter of willpower or human determination. It is an endurance sustained by the goodness and grace of God. Click To Tweet

Sure, this life is overwhelming. Yes, the temptation to bail out is a very real and present danger. We are all prone to wonder if following Jesus is worth it. And in this race of life, sometimes the track itself is out of focus. So, if you are discouraged in your race; if you wonder how you are going to make it to the end; if you want to learn how to help others who are facing the prospect of giving up on Jesus, why not make it a point to join us as we study Hebrews 12 together this summer!

Schedule

June 6 – Mark Egerdahl (v. 1, Running the Race)
June 13 – Jeff Sturgis (v. 2, Looking Unto Jesus)
June 27 – Sam Adams (v. 3, The Need for Endurance)
June 11 – David Overly (v. 4-8, The Discipline and Training of God’s Children)
July 18 – Herb Hotchkiss (v. 9-11, The Logic of Submission)
July 25 – Tim Pulver (v. 12-14, The Way of Renewal)
August 1 – Caleb Sturgis (v. 15-17, Final Warnings)