EBER MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH
Monday, December 11, 2017
WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REACH THE ONE FOR CHRIST

How To Run The Race Set Before Us

 
HOW TO RUN THE RACE SET BEFORE US
Prepared by Rev. D.K. Harden Sr.                                       Preached September 20, 2009
 
Hebrews 12:1-2
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 race that is set before us,  2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 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.
  I.            be determined to win - I Corinthians 9:24
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
          A.            great athletes have a great desire to win
                     1.            if we want to win we will give our best
                     2.            success or failure is the result of our determination
          B.            as Christians, we have a source of strength others don’t have
                      1.            we have the Holy Spirit
                      2.        we have Jesus Christ [I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me] -                                  Philippians 4:13
          C.            just because we have this extra help does not mean that we will win
                             1.            we must have a desire to win
                             2.            every race has a goal or finish line - I Corinthians 9:26 (do you know God’s goal for your life)
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
                               3.            we must know the goal, and be determined to reach it
              D.            characteristics of a determined athletes - I Corinthians 9
                                1.            "run all" - give every ounce of energy possible – 24
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
                                 2.            "striveth" - to struggle, to endeavor to accomplish something – 25
And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
                                  3.            "temperate" - rigid self-control - 25
                                           a.            a determined athlete is either training or running
                                           b.            during training an athlete can do as he pleases (personal liberty)
                                           c.            if the time for training is not used wisely, they will not do well in the race
                 E.            for those that finish their course, there is a reward - 25 (incorruptible crown)
 II.            don’t be a quitter Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
                   A.            the race we are in is not a 50 yard dash, but a long distance marathon
                                    1.            there will be many obstacles or test along the way (hills, rivers, rocky roads)
                                    2.        the difficulty of the test will vary - Jeremiah 12:5
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
            B.            Paul’s advice for those in the race
                                      1.            forget what is behind
                                                 a.            we cannot change any of our past failures or mistakes
                                                 b.            to dwell on them will cause us to become discouraged, and then quit
                                        2.           reach fourth to what lies ahead
                    C.        notice the simplicity of Paul’s life as he pressed toward the mark [this one thing I do -13]
                                                      1.            Paul was not trying to please the world, and please God
                                                      2.            he was not trying to gain glory on earth, and glory in heaven
                                                      3.            he was not trying to be rich on earth, and rich in heaven
                                                      4.            Paul had a very simple life, because he had only one goal (to be the best that he could be for Christ)
III.            travel light - Hebrews 12:1 [every weight]
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,
                  A.            any object, desire, or activity that is not God’s will for us (careers, things, spouses)
                            B.            far to many Christians are carrying far to many weights
                           C.            those that carry the weight may eventually get to heaven, but there won’t be any reward
IV.            don’t get off course - Hebrews 12:1 [the sin which doth so easily best us]
                            A.            we all have some pet sins that will often get us off course
                            B.            notice that this sin "doth so easily beset us"
                                                      1.            sin is a natural thing for the flesh (don’t think otherwise)
                                                      2.            we must always be on guard, so that we do not do that which comes naturally (sin)
 V.        don’t get in a hurry Hebrews 12:1 [run with patience]
VI.            Jesus’ example for running the race - Hebrews 12:2
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; 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.
                            A.            He was determined to win the prize [for the joy]
                            B.            He overcame all obstacles [endured the cross, the shame]
                          C.            He never quit, not even when the going got really tough [endured the cross]
                           D.            He receive the reward [set down at the right hand of the throne of God]