Have you ever give serious thought about giving up? Quitting? There are many on the side of the trail. They used to run. There was a time when they kept pace. But then weariness set in. They didn’t think the run would be this tough. They got discouraged by a fellow runner. Whatever the reason, they don’t run anymore. They still come to church. They still put a buck in the plate and they still sit in their place, but their heart isn’t in the race. They have retired before their time. This Christian race is no jog, the word race used in Hebrews 12:1 in the Greek is agon from which we get the word agony. The Christian race is not a jog; oh no, it’s a demanding and grueling and sometimes agonizing race. It takes a massive effort to finish strong.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the racethat is set before us,
It’s the next two verses I want you to see for they show us how to stay in the race.
Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of ourfaith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
You see temptations didn’t deter Jesus. Accusations didn’t defeat Jesus and Shame didn’t dishearten Jesus. Ever wonder why? Jesus is the only person to live on earth after He had lived in heaven. You and I will live in heaven after our time on earth. The first thing we learn to do is lay aside every weight and sin that is slowing us down. We then get our eyes focused on Jesus for He knows about temptation. Forty days He was tempted by the devil, did you get it FORTY days? Why don’t you just quit Jesus, you’re wasting your time, no one really cares. Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t quit instead He finished strong. I don’t know if you noticed it or not but in those three verses we just read nothing is said about streets of gold or angels. There is no music or feast; why the word heaven is missing, but the power is not. LOOKING UNTO JESUS the AUTHOR and FINISHER of OUR FAITH. If you and I are going to finish strong it’s a must to keep our focus on Jesus. Is that not what the Apostle Paul said?
Philippians 3:14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Didn’t Paul finish strong? Quitting is easy anyone can quit it takes little effort to quit. You can talk about the past and of how you used to run and even tell of some of the trophies, but you retired early, your feelings got hurt. Someone complained or whatever, you quit now instead of running you are sitting with only memories of days gone by. Really!! Get real Jesus heard words of accusation from strangers, from His neighbors and yes from His own family but He didn’t quit. I asked the Lord to come into my heart in 1973 I knew nothing about the Bible. My Pastor encouraged me to go to College. I went, three nights a week I went to classes, the College was only about 8 miles from the house. Then we moved now we were 45-50 miles away. I would work all day go by our Church clean up a bit sit down and eat a bag dinner that my wife had made for me while I studied. Then off to school I would go three classes a chapel and then the drive home almost midnight when I arrived. The next day the same; many said quit you’re killing yourself it’s not worth it, really, what’s the price for knowing more about Jesus? It’s Priceless and I’m glad for the opportunity I had. There is so much to get done and I haven’t the time to spend with those that say it can’t be done. How about you? I am excited about tonight when I’ll meet with the RU students then into the third talk the subject “I’m a Person of Action.” A person who moves neither left nor right is destined for mediocrity. When faced with a decision, many people say they are waiting for God. I understand in most cases, God is waiting for me! See you tonight!!!!!