Grace For Your Day May 29

Over the past several weeks at Grace Fellowship Church, we have been studying the subject of the Christian race in Hebrews 12. In doing so, we have learned that the Lord wants us to “run… the race that is set before us.” In other words, God does not want us to walk in our pursuit of Him. He does not want us to jog or crawl. He wants us to chase after Christ with all our might and persevere as we do so because this race is a marathon, not a sprint. The victory does not go to the fastest runner but to the one who endures with the greatest resilience.

The term “endure” or “endurance” is actually repeated several times in this passage to emphasize this. For example,

12:1 says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

12:2 says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…”

12:3 says, “For consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself…”

12:7 says, “It is for discipline that you endure…”

The reason the author does this is in order to remind us that the race is hard. We can expect to encounter times of hostility and trials like Jesus did. However, we can get through it if we persevere. It is possible to win if you stay with it and do not quit.

In fact, to encourage us in this area some more, 12:12-14 goes on to say:

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

The writer now tells us “to strengthen the hands that are weak” which is another way of saying to toughen up. He is telling us not to be so fearful in this contest but to embrace the challenges of the Christian life with courage. He also says to “make straight paths for your feet” or stay in the proper lane. Do not get so distracted that you go the wrong way and injure yourself (“so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint”).

The question is: How do we do that? What practical steps can we take in order to run the race this way? The answer is: “Pursue peace with all men.” Do not be so hasty to start a fight with someone in the church. Do not argue with them as they run. Do not bicker with them as they pursue Christ.
Instead, show grace. Put others first Be patient. Forgive. Be humble, humble, humble.

The point is that you are not running this race alone and you need to live like it. Other people are striving for the prize along with you and you need to keep them in mind which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to discuss how we can run the Christian race together because we often forget to do this. We can be so caught up in our own individual journeys that we neglect our brothers and sisters in Christ who are chasing after Jesus too because we are all selfish by nature. We have a tendency to be “lovers of self, lovers of money… without self-control” (2 Timothy 3:2-3) because we approach this race like we are the only ones in it. However, the Lord is calling us to do something greater in this passage and we need to take it to heart.

Augustine once said, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to their distress. It has eyes to see their misery. It has the ears to hear their sighs and cries and groans.” In other words, our love is displayed in action. You cannot just say that you love someone but you have to show it.

If that is something that you would like to learn more about, please join us as we talk about that this Sunday morning. The service begins at 9:30.

- Jeremy Cagle