podcast

#426 – The Race Set Before Us (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Pray The Word
Hebrews
12
1-2
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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely. And let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

What an incredible couple of verses. It would take us hours to really dive into it, but get the whole picture in this couple of minutes. We are surrounded a cloud of witnesses, men and women of faith who’ve gone before us, who are beckoning us to run the race of faith, to throw aside sin that so easily entangles us, distractions that so easily, subtly keep us from living with all-out focus on Jesus. Let’s look to him. Let’s see everything in our lives through the lens of who he is, the one who founded our faith, is perfecting our faith, who’s growing us in him. And with joy before him, let’s run the race marked out for us. In other words, let’s live this life of faith that he has called us to with joy, knowing it’s not always easy, but that’s the whole picture. Jesus endured the cross, scorning, and shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. He endured all kinds of suffering knowing the reward was coming. And so we, in a world of sin and suffering and evil, there’s all kinds of challenges, there’s all kinds of suffering that comes, but we know reward is coming.

 May we look to Jesus and wage war on sin as we run the race set before us, longing to see Christ glorified in our lives.

Oh, be encouraged today in your faith to run with perseverance the race marked out for you. Be encouraged to throw aside sin, to ask God for an extra measure of grace to leave sin behind in your life, anything that’s keeping you from all-out full obedience to Christ. Live with all out, full obedience to Christ, being cheered on in that kind of obedience, that kind of faith by men and women who have gone before us, who would testify it’s worth it. It’s worth it. Don’t waste your life on anything less than all-out faith, total obedience to Christ and God.

Oh, God we pray that these verses would characterize our lives. God, we want to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. God, I want to run this race with faith in you, trusting in you, focused on you in my life in every way. God, help me to turn aside from sin. God, help me not to toy with sin, not to become entangled in sin, not to become entangled in other pursuits in this world. God, I want to make my life today count for your glory.

I want to make my life this week count for your glory, this year count for your glory. Help me not to do anything less than fix my eyes on you and live for you. God, I pray for this in my life. I pray for this in those who are listening right now. God, help them. Amidst all kinds of sin that is trying to entangle them, help them turn aside from it by your grace. Give them power over it. Help them to leave it behind. God, help them to live with all out faith in you today, trusting you, pursuing you, sharing the gospel with those around them, living on mission for you. God, I pray that their day might count for your glory. I pray that their week might count for your glory. I pray that this year might count for your glory in their lives. God, help us surrounded by this hall of faith, men and women who have trusted you and followed you. God, help us to follow in their footsteps looking to Jesus. And oh, just as you founded our faith, Lord Jesus, perfect our faith, we pray. Help us to grow in faith today. Help us to do Hebrews 12:1-2. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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