First-Love Fast: Week 3 – Running the Race

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

The writer of Hebrews urges us to lay aside every weight and sin that ensnares us in our race. Last week we talked about repentance – repenting of sins that entangle us.

This week we’re looking at weights that weigh us down. None of us would set out on a marathon by strapping heavy objects to our back. Imagine how much harder it would be to run the 26.219 miles with a backpack full of bricks or Pastor Jeff’s meeting notes. This would not necessarily be against the rules, but would certainly not set us up for success.

Sometimes the sins are easy for us to identify. The weights, on the other hand, can be more difficult. These weights are the things that are not necessarily sinful, but are nevertheless unhelpful as we run our race of faith.

This is one of the things that fasting does. It forces us to look at the things in our lives that stunt our growth, hinder our progress, and dull our senses.

So how do we do this? How do we identify the weights and then how do we shed the weights?
By “looking unto Jesus.”

Jesus is the starting line of our faith-race. Jesus is the finish line – the goal – of our faith-race. He is the one that leads us, encourages us, strengthens us, and refreshes us in the process. Fix your eyes on the One whose yoke is easy and whose load light, and run with endurance the race set before you.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, show me the weights in my life that are encumbering my walk. Help me to see the things that keep me from running wholeheartedly with Jesus. Give me courage, strength, and grace to lay those things aside. I want to be Yours, God – all Yours! I want to leap on mountains, walk on water, carry my cross and follow you all the days of my life. Draw me after You and let us run together. 

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