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JULY 2023.
RUNNING THE RACE (Hebrews 12:1-3).

Some of the younger members of our congregation participated in the Guernsey Inter-school’s Athletics Championships in June. They all did very well and perhaps one day some of them will represent Guernsey in the Island Games—a bi-annual event that sees thousands of athletes from various islands all around the world converging to face each other in competition. This July, for the third time in history, the Island Games take place in Guernsey where over 2000 athletes will be striving to win the prize in their particular event.

The first Olympic Games are said to have taken place in Olympia in 776 BC, and the human writers and original audience of the New Testament letters would have been well familiar with such occasions. With a great stadium in mind, the writer of Hebrews challenges us to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) Running a steadfast race all the way to the finish line might sound like a glorious idea, but the reality is that athletes grow weary at times. We do too as we journey through this life. The weight of various concerns that we carry slow us down, and the sins that we struggle to overcome trip us up, and so running with endurance is a trial. I will never forget the final 800m race I ran in high school. I set off well with 4000 high school children looking on, leading the race for the first 400m. I, however, did not endure until the end. In my own strength, I felt that I could not go on and so I slowed down, finishing in last place.

In the spiritual race set before us, we might feel that we cannot go on—that we do not have what it takes. The gift to us in such moments is that we do not need to endure in our own strength. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, who is the “founder and perfecter of our faith,” we can run the race set before us with excellence. He is our perfect example of strength and endurance, and best of all, having endured the cross He cried out “It is Finished! ” In doing so, He finished the race that we could never finish and He finished it on our behalf. It is in Him then, that we find courage and strength to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14

May we be a people who steadfastly run the race that is set before us, neither growing weary nor fainthearted. (Hebrews 12:3)

One in Christ
Pastor Simon

New Life Church © 2024.

New Life Church © 2024.