Hebrew 12:1-3: Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Last week, David and I were blessed as we attended the first two days of Moody Bible Institute's Founder's Week (a week long event filled with music and speakers in honor of the birthday of D.L. Moody, the Founder of MBI). We were there for David's 25-year class reunion, and also went to the evening sessions held at Moody Church.
This year's theme was "Running the Race" based on Hebrews 12:1-3. On the first night, the current president of MBI, Dr. Paul Nyquist, was the speaker. He mentioned how, as Christians, we are all running a race (the race of the Christian life), but each race is different. We can't choose the race we are in but, instead, must run the race that is "set before us." And, while we are running, we need to run with endurance. But, how do we do that? Dr. Nyquist gave 3 strategies to help us:
1. Remember the heroes - the "cloud of witnesses" who have run the race before us. They are testimonies to us. They encourage us and show us this race CAN be done! We need to remember that, and keep on running.
2. Lay aside every encumbrance. In other words, drop the weights - the things that are bulky and heavy and are weighing us down. What things can weigh us down? Maybe a time-consuming hobby, or a bad habit. It is basically anything that interferes with us being fully devoted to Jesus Christ and living the Christian life we are meant to live. We need to work towards getting rid of those hindrances. Not just some of them, but ALL of them (EVERY encumbrance).
3. Focus on Jesus. We need to be intentional about this because it won't happen automatically. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him as we run, He will help us reach the finish line.
I encourage you to watch the entire sermon HERE ON YOU TUBE.