Run with Endurance

 

Theme: Run with endurance the race that God has set before us. Proper 15 (20) Yr. C
Object: A medal, trophy, or some other object that would tie in with the Olympic theme.
Scripture: 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. Hebrews 12:1-2a (NLT)

These medals remind me of a very big event that is happening right now. Can you guess what I am talking about? That's right! I'm talking about the Olympics! Just how big are the Olympics? Here are a few facts that will give you an idea of just how big the Olympics are:

• There will be more that 10,500 athletes competing for medals in the Olympics.
• There will be 206 countries represented.
• There will be more than 6 million tickets sold.
• There will be a record 6,500 hours of television coverage.
• It is estimated that about 4 billion people will watch at least part of the Olympics on television.

Now, that's big! The athletes have worked long and hard for the opportunity to represent their country and to try to win a medal. They are going to keep their eye on the prize and will not let anything stand in the way of doing their very best.

Our Bible lesson today describes a race that you and I are running that is even bigger and more important than the Olympics. Our Bible lesson today says, "Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses, let us run the race that God has set before us. Throw aside anything that will slow you down. Keep your eyes on Jesus." What is this race that we have before us? It is the race of following the example that Jesus set for us and expects us to follow as one of his disciples. It is a race of obedience to God's Word and faithfulness to Jesus' call to "Follow me."

Can you imagine an Olympic athlete starting the race and giving up when the medal was within his reach? The race may not be easy, but the prize will be worth giving our all. Never give up! Keep your eyes on Jesus and, like the apostle Paul said, "Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Father, help us to be faithful in running the race which you have set before us. We pray that we will keep our eyes on Jesus and follow the example he set for us. Keep us from the sin that will keep us from faithfully running our race. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.