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)
I know that I am in a race. I know that a course has been marked out for me. There is even a cheering section surrounding me, filled with faithful men and women who have gone before me. They are spurring me on. They are encouraging me to run well. They are cheering for me. Their lives have served as a testimony. They have given me an example to follow. I want to run well. I want to persevere. I want to finish the race. I definitely don’t want to grow weary and lose heart. I will not quit. I will not give up. I will keep on moving forward with you. That is very good.
What will you do so that you will be able to run well and finish your race? First, I will throw off everything that will hinder me from running well. Like what? I won’t carry around anything extra that will weigh me down. Like what? I won’t pursue the comforts and pleasures of the world. I won’t seek after what the world has to offer. What else? Well, I won’t let sin entangle me. How will you do that? Not, with my own strength and ability alone, that is for sure. I will keep my heart and mind and life focused on you. I won’t look back. I won’t look around. I won’t waste time and effort on what will amount to nothing. I will run away from sin as I run to you. My eyes will be firmly fixed on you. I will love and follow and serve you. I will run to where you lead me. I will run to do what you ask of me. In every way and on every day, I will rely on your power and strength. You will teach me. You will train me. You are the author and perfecter of my faith. Yes, I am. You will help me to give my all. You will make me able to run well and finish strong. Yes, I will.
Lord, I will throw away everything that will hinder my running the race of faith marked out before me. I will run with perseverance as I keep my eyes firmly fixed on you. I know you will help me to run well. You will keep me from growing weary or losing heart. Amen
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