GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
The Bible teaches us that life is a race. Unfortunately, most people never finish it. Some people do not even know it is a race. Some people do not see that they have a purpose for living. They think they are alive, but feel that they have no purpose.
Sometimes they get distracted by friends, family, or the world around them. They get disqualified from the race. They die with unfulfilled dreams, unrealized potential, and without ever becoming what God intended their life to become. That is a tragedy.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1)
If you are alive and you are reading this devotion – then God has a purpose for your life. You are in the race. You need to know how to run the race well; how to finish the race so that God is pleased and, most importantly, how we can win the race. Spending time in God’s Word every day helps you accomplish those things.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)
The Bible does not just tell us to run the race. The Bible gives us the rules of the race that we can follow if we want to win. If we are going to win the race, it will be because we live out the rules for training that God has given.
How can we win the race in life? By getting rid of all the distractions in our lives. We need to get rid of anything that will slow us down on the race that God has put before us.
What do we need to get rid of? We need to get rid of anything that will cause a division between God and us. Divisions that come between God and us keep us from winning the race. That is the deception of the enemy. We think that a person or action is harmless. We even think, “It’s not hurting anything. No one will even notice.”. But we do not realize that it weighs us down. And It is keeping us from winning the race that God intends.
We do not win over sin by focusing on that sin. We win over sin by focusing on God – by focusing on the plan God has for our life. If we are going to run the race, we need to get rid of the distractions that will slow us down while running the race.
“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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
One of the keys to running the race is to stay focused on Jesus and to follow His example. If we want to win the race, we must keep Jesus and what He did central in our lives. We have to keep our eyes on Him. Jesus is the One working on us. He is the One who started us on the path of faith, and Jesus is the One that is going to see us through. Jesus will not give up on us. He is going to support us every step of the way.
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” (Philippians 1:6)
Throughout history, there are examples of people who have run and finished the race. You may be able to think of some people that you have known who have finished the race. They may be in heaven now, but they finished well. They ran and won the race.
The Bible tells us that all those who have finished the race are like a huge cloud of witnesses. It is a massive amount of people. They have finished, and now they are watching us as we run the race. With this vast body of Believers around us, it is vital for us to run well. It is crucial to run the race and to finish well.
It is almost like they have passed the baton. It is like a relay race. They have finished, and they have passed the baton on to us. Now they are watching and encouraging us. “I am done now. I have finished the race. I have run it well. And now I am passing the baton on to you…and to you…and to you.”
We do not know how you are running the race right now. But we do know it is not too late to finish well. We know it is not too late to get rid of the distractions, to discover and to live out your life’s purpose. It is not too late to keep your eyes on Jesus. It is not too late to pick up the baton and get on with the race. Many have finished well, and they are passing the baton on now to you. Challenge yourself to run with endurance today. Stay on course and be encouraged, knowing that others are in heaven cheering you on.
Will you get rid of anything that will slow you down on the race that God has put before you?
Heavenly Father, I will get rid of anything that will slow me down on my race. The cloud of witnesses are around me, and I Iay aside every weight and sin which would ensnare me. I will run my race with endurance and focus on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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