Racing Tips

July 1, 2010 at 8:54 am | Posted in Hebrews | 13 Comments
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A marathon is a foot-race that is 26 miles, 385 yards long. That’s quite a long distance to cover by foot! It might surprise you to learn, however, that almost anybody can finish a marathon. The feat is not in finishing – the feat is in how long it takes you to finish! It might take some of us a few hours to finish. It might take some of us a few months. It all depends on how well we run the race.

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The Christian life is the same way. All Christians are going to finish the race of life. The question is, how well will you run along the way? The past champions of faith have left testimonies that witness to believers today that it is possible to run the race of the Christian life very well, indeed. (See Hebrews 11.)

No one hoping to run well in a marathon would intentionally act foolish during the race. Rolling on the ground, leaving the race-route, running backwards, stopping for a nap, feuding with other runners, or scarfing down heavy snacks along the way, would, I think we can all agree, greatly hinder one’s ability to run well in a marathon.

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We may compare these actions to sins that easily beset Christians on a daily basis. They have no merit whatsoever, and should be prohibited for marathon-runners. In the race of the Christian life sins must definitely be laid aside as we run.

However, there are some things, which are not necessarily forbidden to runners, but which are just not good ideas in a marathon. Bulky, heavy clothes are one example. The wrong kind of shoes for running is another. It would make sense to drink water during the race, but not to carry a giant drum full of it on your back.

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We may compare these actions to practices in the life of a believer which are not necessarily sinful, but which weigh us down. They may still allow us to run, but they prevent us from running with the excellence and swiftness that the Lord wants. These weighty distractions must also be laid aside.

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 race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1

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  1. […] What if we had shoes that kept our feet moving in response to God’s power, instead of trying to run ahead in our own power (meekness)? Maybe we could even put on overcoats that helped us bear with […]

  2. […] Clearing: Some branches have parts that drag them down. We have worldly concerns and interests that weigh us down. […]

  3. […] free from sin, but there are many things which may not necessarily be sinful in and of themselves. These things become a problem when they consume my attention and energy, and take me out of the battle that […]

  4. […] clearly wrong. Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, fornication are common examples. There are other things that may not be clearly wrong, but are still sources of addiction for many people: TV, radio, internet, junk food, coffee. In the […]

  5. […] race. We get knocked down many times, but we get up and keep going, and if God gives us wisdom to run well, we had better help up others who have fallen along the way. Because we know that somehow we’re […]

  6. […] are many metaphors for life: a contest; a war; a game; a race; a battle; a trap; a puzzle. You were probably taught in school that the first Thanksgiving […]

  7. […] The particular feasts described here were the result of the failure of Ahasuerus’s father to successfully invade Greece. Ahasuerus was probably excited at the prospect of revenge and greater glory for himself as he prepared to try it himself. As an aside, the defeat of Darius (Ahasuerus’s father) happened at a place called Marathon in 490 B.C. 25,000 Persians were met by 10,000 Greeks. Some of the Persians left to go attack Athens, and a runner ran 26 miles without stopping to warn them – upon which he probably died from a heat stroke or exhaustion. That’s where we get them name 26-mile-long race. […]

  8. […] in our prayers of confession and repentance, so that the Holy Spirit may help us to put aside the sins which so easily beset us. This is never easy, and it is often grievous, but the sooner we slaughter our pride on the altar […]

  9. […] a journey, a puzzle. The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to compare the Christian life to a race. This would have been a familiar theme for the Corinthian Christians because of the Isthmian Games. […]

  10. […] ultimately on his your way to Heaven. One Scriptural analogy for the Christian life is that it is like a race, but when the race is over, as a true Christian, I’m going to Heaven, even though I might not be […]

  11. […] us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before […]

  12. […] the Christian race, we are to look […]

  13. […] 11:17-19) 32. How God Prepares Leaders (Hebrews 11:23-29) 33. A Closer Race with Thee (Hebrews 12) 34. Racing Tips (Hebrews 12:1) 35. The Author of the Story that Never Ends (Hebrews 12:2, 7:25, 6:18) 36. This Is […]


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