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. 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
You know quite a bit about running. You know a lot about perseverance. Yes, I know a lot about running with perseverance. Tell me what you know. To run with perseverance motivation is needed at the very start. With rock solid motivation training can begin. One cannot run well, with perseverance without daily training. Perseverance is built little by little, day by day through consistent and ongoing training. Each day of training builds upon the prior day of training. Running well, with perseverance begins with one step followed by thousands upon thousands of subsequent steps. Will you allow me to train you as you run on the course that I have laid out for you? Yes Lord, I will. That is very good.
Let me ask you a question about what you have said so far. Go right ahead. What is your motivation to run well in your life of faith with me? You showed me your love. You saved me. You forgave all my sins. You cleansed me of all my unrighteousness. You rescued me from a life without you. You adopted me into your family. You are my Father. I am your child. I now love you because you first loved me. You gave yourself to me. So, I now want to give myself to you. I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. There is no place I wouldn’t go or nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I want to live my life fully with and for you. I want to live a life that is pleasing in your sight. So, as you can see, I am highly motivated to run well in my life of faith with you. I can see that quite clearly.
I have another question about motivation. What’s that? What else motivates you to run well in your life of faith with me? Many of your followers that have gone before me have run well in their race of faith with you. Many of your followers who now surround me are running well in their race of faith with you. I am encouraged by their example. They have thrown off everything that might have hindered them from running well. They have run or are now running with perseverance the course that you have laid out for them. They have not grown weary. They have not lost heart. I want to run with that same perseverance so I can be an example for others to follow. That is very good.
One more question. I’m listening. What will help you to run and finish well? To run and finish well, I will need to keep my eyes fixed on you. A good runner does not look side to side or to the rear. They keep their eyes looking forward. That is what I will do. I will keep my eyes fixed on you as I run the race of faith you have laid out before me. You will keep me running. You will help me to run well and finish my race. Yes, I will. You can be sure of that.
Lord, I will throw off everything that hinders, entangles and slows me down in the life of faith that you have given me to live with and for you. With a joyful heart, I will keep my eyes fixed on you as I run the race with perseverance. Amen
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