Eternal perspective needed to win race of faith

In Hebrews 12:1-2, we see the great outstanding feature of the Christian is that he has life. Not a common, natural life of the flesh, but the new-spirit begotten life of God, which makes him a new creation.

What is this new life in God we have? Glad you asked.

An energetic life — verse 1 says, “Let us to run the race.” A man in a race has to stay wide awake and aware of all the things around him.

An ordered life — verse 1 tells us “to run the race before us.” A race track is laid out before the race starts. The course we as Christians are to run is well set out before us. Christ set it before us. Luke 22:42 says, “Not my will but thine be done.”

A persevering life — verse 1 tells us how to run the race: “Run with patience.” The course that Christ set before us will bring glory and honor to our heavenly father.

An upward life — verse 2 says we are to keep our eyes on Christ. “We look onto Him, because we press on for the prize of His eternal glory and our rewards.”

A self-denying life — verse 1 says, “Lay aside every weight.” If we keep what is of the world, we will become a castaway or become a disqualified runner. These weights are our own will and thoughts.

A hopeful life — verse 2 says, “Who for the joy that was set before him.” Remember King David asked for the joy of his salvation to return (Psalm 51). Remember the servant will be rewarded when he enters. Salvation is all grace, but works will bring the saved his rewards.

A public life — verse 1 says, “We also are compassed about with a great cloud of witness.” Every Christian has a cloud of witness around them. May we run the race, our heavenly course that has been laid out, that they will be led to glorify our father in heaven.

I ask you this question: “What kind of race are you running?”

Joseph Merriman is pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenfield. This column is written by local clergy members.