Though we face challenges, the race of faith is one we must commit to for the rest of our lives. Will you stay faithful to Christ to the end?
Run Your Race
“You and I need to exercise discernment at to who you are tracking in this race of faith. Use wisdom to choose rightly who will be the right pace setters for you. Which is why studying the Bible is a crucial habit that Christians must endeavour to do.”
The Christian life is a race of faith we must run with endurance for Jesus Christ
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Top Quotes: Run Your Race
“You will need to exert effort in order to run the Christian race of faith effectively.”
“The Christian life is a race of faith we must run with endurance for Jesus Christ.”
“Any sin can become a poison that will keep you from running your race of faith vibrantly.”
Other Content On This Topic
Text: Hebrews 12: 1-3
Date preached: 11 October 2021
Location: Bryanston Bible Church, Johannesburg, South Africa
Morning, morning. It’s so good to be here this morning.
Listen, I know when you look at me and you see this big frame, and believe it or not, back in high school, it could move. It could really move. It was explosive. It could outrun you in a sprint easily. And so, for all my sins or talent, but back in high school I actually landed it on the athletics team running sprints. So, 100, 200, 400 meters now and again, but I never did any long distances at all. In fact, I hated them. I even hated running laps to just warm up, so I never even did those. That’s how much I hated running long distance.
And so we were at an athletics meeting for our school, for our school where it was a must win, for some reason. And so, it meant every place finish would count. As a school, we couldn’t afford to not have any anyone run every single race for that particular meeting. So, when it came to the 1500 meter race, which is a few laps around the track we for some reason had no one running and so and so our athletics coach was actually in a frantic panic looking for anybody and anything to actually run this race. And so I happened to be one of the unlucky souls who was lying on a bank near him when he grabbed me and thrust me towards this race.
Now, I’d never run anything remotely close, beyond the, sort of, sprints and so as he thrust me into this race, I really, literally thought I was going to die. Now seeing my horror, one of my friends, who was lying also beside me at the time, yelled this bit or piece of comforting advice to me as I was making my way towards the race. And she said, and she said, “If you want to make it to the end and not die, just keep looking at the feet in front of you.”
I had absolutely no idea what she meant, but when the gun went off, I just did what she said. And so, I kept looking at the feet in front of me. I finished in fifth place out of a track or runners about 15 or so runners that day. Not a podium finish but an impressive one considering I’ve never, never run anything like that before. And it was my only first and last 1500 ever in my life.
In fact, afterwards, the coach wanted me to run more, I was like, “Heck no am I ever going to run any long, a long-distance race!”
And so, I owe all my success for that 1 500 meter – granted it was a short-lived long-distance career on the track – to my friend because her piece of advice proved to be so crucial, so crucial in helping me run that race. Because, as it turns out, when you actually keep looking at the feet in front of you, what happens is that you begin to start to track at their pace. That’s what helped me forget everything else around me and actually, despite my inabilities, helped me finish that race. I wasn’t trying to come fifth. Unknown to me, I just locked on the feet of fourth. Just as well that it wasn’t the feet of the first place, right? Because there I would be trying to chase after that guy and everyone thinking I’m trying to be a hero when I had absolutely no cooking clue what I was doing!
And so, locking my eyes on the feet in front of me, is what helped me actually finish the race and complete that particular race. And so, who you choose to be your pacesetters will prove to be crucial in helping you complete the race.
We’re turning in the book of Hebrews, down the application stretch of this particular book where the writer of Hebrews is wanting to exhort us and called us to actually live for Jesus because, if nothing is better than Jesus then there is absolutely nothing else better to live for than Jesus Christ. And so, to do that effectively, we will need, we will need certain postures, certain approaches that we take towards our lives.
Life As A Race Of Endurance
Last week we saw the first one – that we ought to approach our lives as an exercise of faith. Today we come to the second approach and that is: life as a race of endurance. We’ve got to approach our lives as a race of endurance.
Come with me in Hebrews chapter two, I mean chapter 12, verses one to two. We’ll look at two verses but don’t let them deceive you. They’re already really comprehensive, in fact, and so two verses this morning.
Hebrews 12:1 – 2,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Now, in the original language, there is one main clause and main exhortation and application in these two verses, which everything else in these two verses is built around and it is this clause: “let us run. Let us run.”
The Christian life contains a race that we need to run with endurance. And so, that means that you will need to exert effort for the long haul, in order to run this race, this Christian race of faith, effectively. The Jesus worth pursuing isn’t going to be easy. It isn’t going to be easy to pursue that Jesus.
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
And so, the Christian life is a race of faith, a race of faith, that we must run with endurance for Jesus Christ. Our three aspects or elements we will need on this race, that would actually help us help us as a sort of as some kind of a runner’s guide as we look to run this race faithfully.
Track With The Right Pace Setters
Let’s begin. The first one is this: you got to track with the right pace setters. You’ve got to track with the right pace setters. Look at verse 1a,
“Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…”
That is the New Testament equivalent of my friend’s advice: keep looking at the feet in front of you, the feet in front of you. This great cloud of witnesses are the men and women in chapter 11 who adopted this posture of faith as they ran this race, as they lived out their Christian lives. And these men and women aren’t to be seen or deemed as if they are some kind of fans on the side lines, egging us on. No, the word used here for witnesses carries with it the meaning that the acts of faith actually bear testimony to us as a form of encouragement. We are to look at their lives and draw from it the encouragement that we need in order to keep running in good pace and pace this race of faith that we are called to run. And so therefore, they are the right pace setters that you ought to be tracking on your race of faith.
Now the fact that the author refers to these men and women in chapter 11 means that not everybody also actually operates in that sense. Scripture is full of life examples, right? But not all of them are worth following. And so that means that therefore, you will need to exercise discernment as to who are you tracking in this race of faith. You need to use wisdom to choose rightly who will be the right pace setters for you. Which is why studying the Bible is a crucial habit that Christians must absolutely, absolutely endeavour to do. Why? Because how will you know if you’re not pouring over the Scriptures which kind of right-pace setters in the Scriptures that you ought to be tracking on your race of faith?
So, studying the Bible is not optional if we’re to run well, faithfully for Jesus Christ.
Another is fellowship within the local body within the church. Why? Because the right pace setters are not just found in the pages of the Bible, but also in the body of Christ, that we ought to belong to. Therefore, you’ve got to lean into community to discover them. Which men and women in this room ought you be tracking with if you’re looking to run this race of faith with great endurance?
These last two years worldwide have actually exemplified why this is such a crucial decision to make. Because what have we seen within local churches and and the body of Christ? That if you will neglect fellowship within the community or the body of Christ, you will suffer for it, on your journey of faith. So therefore, you’ve got to be leaning in and resist all the competing alternatives offered to you out there in the world if you’re to actually track on this journey of faith and to run this race well.
Now, like with most things in our lives that are worth doing, they don’t come at little a little cost, right? They will cost us much. As we look to try to be faithful in tracking with the right pace setters in our lives – it will cost us much.
What I’m about to say next, I actually mean it for your encouragement, to actually really encourage us, even though it might not sound like that at first. If you don’t yet know, then you’ve got to get this: that our God seldomly opts for the easier route. Our God seldomly opts for the easier route. Applying ourselves to track with the right pace setters will cost us much; it will be hard. The Jesus worth following, there is, or put it this way, there is no easier race to enter if you’re to pursue Jesus Christ. There isn’t and there isn’t one at all. It will cost you much, how much, if you’re to pursue Jesus Christ and so we’ve got to understand that and make a peace with that. If we are to run this race with endurance.
Because it is an easier race and we know and we realize that it is an easier race why would I say that because look at the life, lives, of the pace setters that we are told about in the book of Hebrews: in Hebrews 11, right, it is so easy to cover to their moments in life, right? Abraham and Sarah receiving the promised child, a miracle baby in their old age. Or the people of Israel triumphantly crossing the Red Sea. Or Rahab’s life being spared when the whole city has been slaughtered. And so, we look at those, and those are the Instagram reels that we covered, absolutely, but what about all of the strife and troubles of their life?
What about the lifetime of barrenness that Abraham and Sarah had to suffer? What about the centuries of slavery that the people of Israel were subjected to? What about the objectification of her body for sexual pleasure that Rahab, as a prostitute, was subjected to?
No one tweets those with hashtag “blessed,” right? And yet part of their story of their lives, as they look to pursue, pursue the God who was calling them. And so, we’ve got to get it out of our heads, this belief that, “If I am in God or in Jesus and I’m pursuing him, life will be easy. It will not be bumpy.”
We’re called to run a race of faith that is a long-distance race, a race that will require endurance and, like any marathon runner will tell you, those kind of races get really hard, get really hard. At some point you have to consider stopping and hydrating or push through to gain a second wind. And so likewise, with our race for faith in Jesus Christ, it will get hard. That is why you will need the right pace setters to track with. Pace setters that will tell you to slow down when you need to or pick up the pace because you have to. Pace setters who will say, “Hey you need some refreshment right now,” or “Push through to the end.”
And so, as you consider to run this race of faith as someone who’s in Christ Jesus, I want to ask you this morning, who are the pace setters you’re tracking with? Who are the pace setters you’re tracking with? Which saints, past and present in the local church, that you’re seeking to emulate, track with, as you run the race that is set before you, with much endurance?
You Will Need To Travel Light
“…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely…”
And so, to run this race of faith, to keep up the pace of this race, the second thing you’ll need – you’ll need to travel light. You will need to travel like that light. Don’t carry extra baggage in sin because it will weigh you down and tie you up.
Now before we look at how to travel light, let’s consider two things that the author does not mean or is not saying at all. The two things that the author is not saying, the first one is this that you should worry more about certain sins than others. That’s not what you say because throughout the book of Hebrews, the author uses the word “sin” in a more generic sense whenever he refers to it and so when he’s talking about it here “sin easily entangles” it doesn’t have a list of specific sins in mind as, if to say, “If you avoid those, then you’re fine.” Not at all. Not at all.
It’s important for us to note that so that we don’t land up making some things more encumbersome than others. And so, “oh pride and pride and gossip – oh those are not big deals but sexual immorality or corruption? Yeah, those are big ones.”
What are we doing when we treat sin in that way? Here’s what we’re doing – we’re allowing the scandal factor of a sin to be what determines how much of its impending effect we will actually tolerate in our lives, or not. Allowing the scandal factor to not determine whether we will tolerate or not. And so therefore, this morning, don’t allow yourself to be duped into thinking that the sin that you may be caught up in a moment is okay and you can bear it a little bit. No, that is actually a part of the spirit of our age of compromise, which we must not allow to creep into our lives, our lives in the spirit of this age of compromise. Then we’ll end up saying that, “Ah things aren’t so bad!” Why? Because others are doing it too.” Or I’ve lost my sense of horror at a particular sin in my life, so I allow it to play out a bit in my life, leading to me getting entangled. I know every sin, all sin can be encumbersome. There’s no small or large quantity of sin that you can choose, you know, what to go with. Any sin can become a poison that will keep you from running your race of faith vibrantly.
We’ve got to, got to, got to take sin seriously. Be vigilant over any sin in our lives.
Address Your Own Sin
The second thing the author is not saying, is that you’re doomed to be entangled by sin – it’s not what he said. Just because he recognizes the entangling effect of sin, he isn’t saying that it’s a “fait accompli” in your life. Why? Because, as Christians, who are saved and sanctified by the blood and the body of Jesus Christ, entanglement by sin is no longer our destined lot. It’s not what we’re destined to. It’s not a 50/50 bargain between good and evil at play in your life and who knows how it turns out. No. If you’re in Christ Jesus, then you’re freed from the power of sin over your life. Sin no longer gets to dictate what you do because of your redemption in Christ, in Christ Jesus. And so, the presence of sin is real, no doubt. It’s tempting and entangling effect is there, but you are no longer governed by it in Christ Jesus. That’s not the picture that the gospel paints of those of us who are in Christ Jesus. For those of us who are in Christ Jesus, we have been freed to walk in the newness of life that comes from our crucifixion and resurrected life in Jesus Christ. We’re not doomed to sin being a player in our lives.
“Ah but Badi, I’ve been trying to live out this redemption, but I found myself continuously going back there.” You know what, that all that says about you, if that’s really you, that you feel like you’re trying to live a life, a love for holiness before God, but you keep going back, to just like, you know, what it says if you’re already truly in Christ Jesus? That you need to keep trying. Why? Because sin is no longer your identity, but your redemption is, and so you keep trying to work out your redemption in Christ. Why? Because you have been empowered by Christ Jesus to live a life that is free of sin. And so we ought to be urging one another, as brothers and sisters in Christ, to lead lives that are disentangled by sin. Disentangled by sin. Why? Because you are people who are in Christ Jesus and have been called to live lives that are worthy to God.
And so then, how do we do that? Two ways we ought to actually live this out: look to travel light.
The first way will be by focusing on the effect of the sin in our lives, to struggle to shrug it off, and then the second one will be by confessing sin to shrug it off.
So, let’s look at the first one: focusing on the entangling effect of the sin to discern how to shrug it off. Because we are people who are easily scandalized by sin, easily scandalized by sin. And so, we don’t stop long enough to actually think and ask and discern as to why has that particular sin got us entangled. Or got someone we know entangled. Why? That’s precisely where we need to look so that we can then discern what it is that is actually holding us captive so that we can know what we are bringing to God, in order to walk and live in the freedom that he brings in the gospel. Because the entangling effect of sin works in our lives, it looks to entangle us in three particular areas of our lives.
The first, God. In how we think and feel about God – that’s how sin will work. What are you thinking, what you’re feeling in your head and in your heart about how you feel and think about God? How am I thinking and feeling about God? Is God actually good towards me over my life? Or is God actually really moving in ways that I need him to and desperate for him to do so?
The entangling effect of sin will look to try to convince you otherwise. And so, you know that sin is looking to entangle you when you actually stop believing in the goodness and the grace of God in how he acts towards you. And so, you’re starting to feel disgruntled, disappointed, disbelief or despair towards the way that God is treating you as our sin is beginning its work of entangling us.
The second area will be self. And so again, working on our hearts, working on our minds. You know that the entangling of our sin’s work is in effect when you start to predominantly view yourself through guilt and shame on the one hand, or pretence and pride on the other. Because in guilt and shame what it does is it triggers indulgence within us. You couldn’t be feeling any worse than you already do for having done that, and so why stop now? You’ve already hit rock bottom. What good could be expected from someone like you? And so, you keep indulging in sin and the sin keeps entangling you deeper.
Pretence and pride fuels a sense of invincibility: “Oh I’m not like other people when it comes to this. I would never do something like that. If only more people were as awesome as me, I tell you, that’s how we’ll fix the world.” And then with that sense of invincibility, you lower your guard, sin strikes, seizes an advantage, and settles in.
C -Thirdly: others. Especially when it comes to sin done to, for or with somebody, there’s usually thoughts and feelings that sin is looking to hold you captive towards that particular person. And so, take some examples: racism. What are you thinking? What are you feeling towards that particular people group that has you captive in how you will choose to act towards them?
Pornography. What is it that you’re feeling or thinking about a human body that you would look to have it satisfy some deep longing within you?
Or about approval? What are you actually thinking, or has you thinking that you’re so less than, that you have to look or act in a certain way towards a particular person or group. And so, our false perspectives and feelings about God, self and others, are the fertile soil where sin looks to actually sow its weeds of entanglement in our lives.
And so, as we come to think about our sin, don’t you stop at what you see in front of you. You’ve got to ask yourself, what is behind it? What is the sin behind the sin? Usually, it is something about how you are thinking and feeling in these three areas that sin is actually looking to actually seize and exploit within you so that you will be further entangled in that particular sin.
We’ve got to focus on the effect, the entangling effect, if we are to discern exactly what it is that we will need to bring to God, so as to experience his freedom in those particular areas. And then second, we’ve got to focus on the, it’s entangling, to discern, then second, we’ve got to confess the sin, to shrug it off. Confess the sin to shrug it off.
You know, confession is a tool to help us to disentangle, disentangle from sin in our lives. I’ve said it before from up here: we don’t confess so that we would inform God of what we have done. It’s not like we will come to God and say, “God, I’ve done this,” and he’s like, “What? You did what? Hey Jesus, come here, listen to this guy!” Not at all. Not at all. He already knows. So why do we confess? We confess so that we will come to terms with who we are and what it is that we have done, so that we will bring that to God. No pretence or sense of trying to cover up or hide who it is we are and where it is that we need God’s grace to work in our lives.
That’s what confession is there for and that’s why it begins to disentangle us from sin and so we ought to confess first to God. That’s the first place we start. Since the fall, human beings have become dishonest to themselves, to others, and ultimately to God about who they are, what their sin issues are in their lives.
If you don’t believe me, just look at Adam and Eve. What happened when God confronted them about what they did? They played the blame game! And we have kept playing the game as their descendants ever since. And so, instead of coming before God in our sin and standing before God and saying to God, “God, who am I going to lie to about what it is that I’ve done? About what it is that’s behind the sin, that is behind my sin? Am I going to lie to you? Your word says that you know every thought of the inclination of my heart, all the time. You see that and so I’m not going to try to spin you a story, God, but I will come just as I am and recognize who I am and say, Lord, would you have mercy?”
You see, what confession is affording us before God, is it is affording us the opportunity to be able to draw near God with a humble and repentant heart that says to God, “God, I am that man, I am that woman, who desires things that are contrary to your will. Would you help me? Would you help me?”
“Of course, I would,” is what God’s response is. And so, we begin to feel and experience God beginning to disentangle us from our sin.
So, we start by confessing to God and then secondly, we confess to one another. We confess to one another. And so, as we begin to confess to God, he begins the process of disentangling us from sin. But by God’s grace, he has given us each other so that, as we will confess to one another, we will find the help that we need to walk in the grace that he’s providing for our freedom.
Listen, here’s what God knows about you, and I really want you to hear me this morning. Here’s what God knows about each and every single one of us and it is this: that you do not get entangled by sin simply because you are ignorant of his will. I’ll say that again: God knows that you don’t get entangled by sin simply because you’re ignorant of his will. Here’s what he knows about us: he knows that you’re getting entangled by sin precisely because you’re good at self-deception, you’re good at self-deception.
Each and every single one of us is good at deceiving ourselves about the horrors and pains and destruction of the sins of our lives. No sooner than we get that discernment about what might even be behind the sin, the sin that I’m caught into, I may still end up thinking some days that, “Ah, it ain’t that bad, surely?” And so that’s why I get back there. What’s happening there? I’m deceiving myself. Deceiving myself into believing that sin ain’t that bad. That sin ain’t that bad.
So what is God doing by giving us confession to one another? He’s surrounding us with people who are just as good as we are in deceiving ourselves, so that by the power of his Spirit at work within us that gives us the discernment to realize that here’s what we are doing at the moment. And usually, you don’t realize it in yourself, but you see it in others, right? You see where others are deceiving themselves but not always catch it in your, in your own life.
And so, by surrounding us with others who will be able to see it in your life, as well as you see it in others lives, what is God doing? He’s giving us the opportunity to actually walk in greater freedom as we bring these things to the light and experience the power of our redemption.
Aren’t you tired? Aren’t you tired of repeating the same kind of mistakes, the same kind of pattern of sin over your life? Aren’t you tired of that?
Listen, this morning, I want us to do something. This morning and I’ll tell you upfront – it’s going to be risky, but I want us to do it this morning so that, by the grace of God, that we will perhaps be convicted deeper than perhaps we have been before of why we need to confess to one another as we look to run this race with endurance. And so, in a moment, I’m going to ask you to stand if anything I’m about to describe any of these things that I will describe, will be true of you. And I’ll join you standing, not because I so happen to be preaching this morning, but because it will be true of me too. It’ll be true of me too.
I want you to listen for a moment and stand if any of this is true of you.
That you’re tired, like I’ve said, of repeating the same pattern of sin over and over and over again. That you said to yourself that last time, that it would be the last time, but then you find yourself back there again. Or you know it’s only a matter of time before you do it again. You’re tired, absolutely tired of why can I not figure this out? Why can I not put this this thing to bed once and for all? You hate every single time you find yourself back there again. Hate how it makes you feel. Hate how disappointed you feel about yourself and start to hate how disappointed you feel like God is towards you, as you look and you find yourself caught up in in that’s it or in that pattern or behaviour again. And you just want there to be there’s just this one thing you could do, once and for all, that will set you free from that. I invite you to stand if any of that, stand with me, if any of that is true of you, of your life this morning.
As we remain standing, I’ll ask us to remain standing, I want you to look around you, at both the people that are standing and the people that remain sitting. I just want you to look around you for a moment. Literally, just look around. Almost not many people left setting, and that’s not a go at the people sitting. I’ll say I want you to sit, if that’s not true of you, please sit.
And so, as we remain standing, here’s what I want to urge us towards as you see the people around you. What are you seeing at the moment? What are we doing at this moment? We’re simply confessing that we’re people who have issues, we have sins, or we have things happening in our lives that we don’t seem to be able to get a hold of and need help for. That’s what’s happening. That’s what’s happening.
So, this morning, I want to urge us or encourage us, encourage us in our boldness of it. Because if you’re prepared to stand as a show, as admitting that that’s true, then can we not perhaps be more bold to pursue one another in life, to help? Because this morning, as I look out in this congregation, some of us here this morning with family members, you’re standing right next to us some of us. Some here this morning we’re friends, whom we see are standing with us. Some of us are here this morning with people in our small group or gospel community with whom we meet with in midweek we are standing as a show as to say, “Hey, there are things in my life that aren’t that perfect that I need to be working on.” And so, can we be bold so as to actually confess with words to those people as to what it is that we are actually having to wrestle with, so that we would have the help that we need by God’s grace?
Can we be bold enough as you have looked around and you’re seeing people that you know, whom you love, whom you want the best for in their walks with God, actually approach them after this morning and to say, “Hey brother, sister, you know that I love you so how can I help? Anything. What is it that you need? How can I be of help?”
Or will we allow this to become that one time in church, that awkward moment when we all stood up to say like, “Hey, there are some things in our lives that we need to be confessing,” but then did nothing about it. And now we’ve chose to pursue one another in life by the grace of God to help each other. You can take your seats.
God Will Strengthen You To The End
I don’t know about you, but when I think about this race of faith being a race that will require endurance for the long haul, so it’s a long distance race, I kind of get the feeling like I want to see the end so that I can make up my mind whether it is worth running, right? The bad news is that you get no such indication at the start, but the good news is God will give you the strength every step along the way by, verse 2, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
And so, as the worship team comes up, we find the strength that we will need every step along the way, by the third and final thing, and we’ll end here: look to Jesus. Look to Jesus, to Jesus. That’s how you’ll find the strength that you need.
Because crucifixion, the cross which is mentioned here, was actually an instrument or an instrument of shame and humiliation. It was the worst form of capital punishment, meant to actually humiliate, shame people. It was only reserved for them, criminals and slaves were the only people who would be crucified because of that. If someone got crucified, it was to actually to show how much they were shamed and despised – that’s why they were crucified.
But the author of Hebrews sees it the other way around. Sees it the other way around. Did you catch that? Look unto Jesus who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame. What is he saying to us? He’s saying in Jesus’s case, Jesus turned the tables on what was supposed to have brought him shame. He shamed it. He shamed it. And so, what have we been told here? We’re being told that it is only through Christ Jesus, as we follow the way that he ran this race, are we able to discover the strength that we will need to turn our moments of shame into those of great joy in the Lord.
How do we do that? By actually looking to God, looking to God in those moments. Bringing our moments of shame in this particular race, and to shame you can add disgrace, discredited, degradation, indignity, bringing those moments at the feet of God, asking that God will fill us up with the greater joy for what awaits us as we run this race of faith with much endurance, and well.
And so, this morning, as you go out into the rest of your week, which moments, which areas of shame and despise are you going to endeavour to turn into moments of joy in God? As you look at the redemption that is promised you, to you, through Christ Jesus – that will keep you running. Keep you running for great endurance as you look to Christ and cross the line.
Let us pray.
Father, and so it is there that we want to come this morning and say, Father to you, in order to be able to do that, to be a people, we will not allow the moments of our shame, the moments of our disgrace, the moments of our despair to shape our lives, as we look to run in greater endurance and faithfulness towards you.
We ask that you help us. God we need you more than ever. We need you to fill us up, to remind us, to cause us to see what truly awaits those who will persevere to the end so that because of what we know, the good and faithful servant commendation that awaits us for having run this race, because we know that it is true, because Christ Jesus died once and for all, bringing the train of his glory.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ you are accepting and in whom you are purified because we know that to be true. Lord, give us the joy we will need this week, this week as we’re confronted with the realities of our lives, the pain points, the shaming points, the disappointing points of our lives. Give us the joy we will need in those weeks, in this week, to look at those things through the lenses of our Christ so that then we will be empowered to run this race of endurance to your glory.
And all God’s people in the room say, Amen.