Eyes on the Prize

BY: ZACH WARRICK

EMAIL: zach@lifeassembly.com

BIBLE TEXT:  Hebrews 12:1-2: ” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”

PERSONAL REFLECTION: I have learned an important lesson about myself since I started running again. I am not a sprinter. I no longer have any illusions about Olympic-like sprints to glory. I am a slow, plodding runner, aiming to make my mileage goal and ignoring my time. Endurance has become my object since speed is not an option.

Our spiritual journeys through life are races of endurance — long-distance runs that force even the fastest spiritual sprinter to modify their pace. In Hebrews, it says, “let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  The race is far longer and more intense than any 5K I’ll ever run. It is literally the race of a lifetime, a race that defines our existence.

There are two things that give me hope as I run this spiritual marathon. First, we are not alone on this race of faith. We are surrounded by a huge crowd of those who ran before us, champions of the faith cheering us on. We can look to those who ran before us for inspiration in our own run. Think back to those men and women who shaped your own faith and take hope in their lives.

Most importantly, we have a prize awaiting us.  Jesus, “the champion who initiates and perfects our faith,” not only eagerly waits for us at the finish line, but guides us as we take each step. We have his initiating strength, sacrifice, and grace giving us the power to win.

So let us run this race with gladness, knowing that no obstacle — no fear, no hurt, no sickness or pain — can separate us from the love of God. We can run toward the finish line in victory because we have already won.

PRAYER:  Lord, thank you for giving us your victory. Guide us today, showing us your will and your purpose. Give us strength as we run toward you. Amen

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Zach Warrick is the pastoral assistant at Life Assembly as well as a junior at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. He loves writing and watching cartoons with his brother among other things.

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