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Hebrews 12:1-2

This week’s R2R distinctive

Hope (Hebrews 6:19-20): I can cope with the hardships of life and with death because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ.

Introduction

As we enter into the Easter season, we begin a five-part mini-series from Hebrews 12 called Looking to Jesus. After observing “the great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews 11, the writer now moves on to challenge us to live our Christian life looking to Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith (v. 3).

Once again, in a very Paul-like fashion, life is compared to a race, and we are encouraged to run the race with our eye on the prize, and to run with endurance.

I’ve never been a runner, but I have watched friends who are runners. One of my friends was not only a runner, but trained for triathlons. I think it is safe to say that in many ways, this became a lifestyle for him. He didn’t just wake up one Saturday morning and decide to complete a triathlon. It took a lot of training and preparation. He worked to build his endurance so he could complete the various segments of the triathlon. Slowly, he improved not only his endurance, but his speed.

There were setbacks. He injured his knee and had to have surgery. Following the surgery, there was a lot of physical therapy and rebuilding of muscles. Eventually, he reached his pace before his injury and continued to strive and work. What motivated him? It was the goal before him–to complete the triathlon.

This is the picture the writer give us of the Christian life, one of gritty determination, working hard to endure the trials with our eye on the Lord Jesus, who is our forerunner. He is in front of us encouraging us to run hard and finish the race.

Just like my friend who experienced a knee injury, life will throw us a curve ball from time-to-time. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns, as my daughter, Julianne, likes to say. Yet, like a determined runner, when we hit a bump in the road, an injury, we don’t stop. We adjust, repair, heal, and continue running.

It is my prayer that as you work through this week’s Compass, you will pause to evaluate your life. Where do you need to make adjustments? Are there areas that are slowing you down? Do you need to change up your training or add some new challenges to your routine?

Most importantly, would those who know you and live life with you identify you as a Christian. There was no doubt my friend trained for triathlons. It was a lifestyle for him. Would your friends say the same about you? There’s no doubt he/she is a Christian…it defines who they are in life. May God richly bless you this week as you run the race that is before you, looking to Jesus, who is cheering us on to finish the race for the glory of God.–Chris Eller

Download The Compass for the Week of March 22.


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