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, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1. Get in the Race
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
· Lighten your load! Let go of all the temporary things that weigh you down, that stuff that hinders you from being in the race.
· The Christian life is like a race. You cannot compete if you don’t wear the appropriate gear, or at least you won’t be able to finish
· You gotta consider if the stuff that hinders your walk is worth giving up or risking your salvation for. As this scripture points, we can lose heart, we can grow tired, we can lose focus. Sin is deceitful and takes many people out.
1 Peter 2:11-17
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
· God has marked out this race for us and determined how it should be run. The tools he gives us and the instructions are often uncomfortable to us if we look at it to make sense to us from a human perspective.
· When we decide to trust God and live faithful lives—leaving everything else behind, it frees us up to live unhindered and really run the race and not just pretend to run.
· We’d like to believe everyone is going to make it to heaven because we live in a society that rewards even the smallest effort. We don’t keep score in sports, we don’t want our kids to experience losing, we live in a society that gives out trophies for just participating. We don’t want anyone to miss out, even when it is their own choice to not play by the rules or follow directions.
· God means business when it comes to sin and salvation. This means God means business when he says to throw off everything that hinders.
· You can do it, it is not impossible. With God’s spirit God has made it possible for us to be saved, but you must make a choice (the world or God)
2. Listen to Coach: Jesus and Others
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
· Look to Jesus, follow His lead, He’s broken ground for us.
· He suffered because He thought we were worth the suffering. He loves us that much.
· No Pain No Gain—He suffered because He knew the reward would be worth it.
· Surgery on my painful elbow and messed up hand. I knew it would be worth it.
· Jesus is with God in heaven urging us to persevere and endure suffering (it’s not unnatural to suffer as a Christian, it’s normal). It’s actually abnormal to not suffer. We will reap a great reward if we fix our eyes on Jesus and follow His example.
1 Corinthians 11:1
1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
· We may have a difficult time or feel like it is impossible to follow Jesus’ example. I tell you that examples of Christ are everywhere here for you to imitate.
· None of us are perfect, but we all have different parts of us that are very much like Christ and that we could imitate. Many of you are super loving, some are extremely generous, some of you are pure hearted, some of you are bold, many of you are gentle, some of you are driven.
· We have so many people that are great examples of Jesus in different areas, though we all need to grow in areas of weakness. None of us has it all figured out. This is why we valued discipling so much.
· Many resent discipling because often we expect someone to be the reincarnation of Jesus in order for us to respect them spiritually. Remember you are looking to Jesus not to people only. Look to those parts of people that are like Jesus and imitate those, learn how to put those into practice in your life.
Isagani (integrity in giving to God what is God’s)
3. Finish the Race
Joanne Baker and Lanita Johnson
2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
· You are going to get opposition from people. “you are dumb, why are you doing this? Why are you so committed? You don’t have to live like that to be saved. (remember what it is to have true faith)
· How do I keep from growing weary?
· Train and put God’s Word into practice (trust what He said)
1 Corinthians 9:25-27
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Get in the race
Listen to coach
Finish the race