Running the Race

December 31, 2008 by Paul Chappell

The last few days have been days of reflection and preparation for 2009.  On Saturday, Terrie and I celebrated our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.  It was a little different this year, with three married children and our youngest son away on a trip.  We enjoyed the time of reflecting on God’s blessings and looking forward to our continued service for Him.

The combined service at Lancaster Baptist Church at 11:00 yesterday morning was a real joy!   It is always exciting to get the whole church family together and lift up the name of Christ.  Out text from Hebrews 12 took us to the beginning of 2008.  Our theme Consider Christ has been predominant in every message throughout this year.

Hebrews 12 reminds us that the Christian life is a race, with Jesus Christ as our goal.  The following thoughts are gleaned from the Scriptures and may be of help to you in your New Year.

I.      The Preparation for the Race.

A. Remove the hindrances or weights
.

B. Repent from sin.

NOTE:  We must make up our minds today to lay aside the weights and sin.  “If you don’t make up your mind, your unmade mind will unmake you.”

Psalm 18:23 says, “I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.”
II.     The Pace of the Race

A. It is a set pace.

NOTE:  Everyone has his own course to run for the Lord.

B. It is a steady race.

NOTE:  We are to run with patience the race that is set before us.
III.    The Pursuit of Our Race

A. We are pursuing a Person—Jesus

NOTE:  We are to be looking to Him. “Success is a moving target, but leadership is a fixed goal.”  Make Jesus Christ your goal!

B. We are pursuing a pattern. (verse 3)

NOTE:  We must consider Christ as our example in this race.

“It belongs to my Christian profession to be vilified, slandered, reproached, and reviled.  And since all this is nothing but that, as God and my conscience testify, I rejoice in being reproached for Christ’s sake.” —John Bunyan, 1658, Bedford, England

May God bless you as you set your goals and direction for 2009!


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