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|Committed to God||MARCH 20|
THE RACE SET BEFORE US
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Heb. 12:1, 2.
The steadfast pursuit of our high calling in Christ is the central truth of this scripture. Paul's appeal to Christians was by way of illustration: the race run by athletes in an amphitheater of one of the cities of Greece. The spectators sat on seats that sloped upward, tier upon tier, as they do in the great sports stadiums today.
What is meant by our running the Christian race? How do we win the race? By looking steadfastly to Jesus, "the author and finisher of our faith." We are to keep our eyes and minds fixed on Him. We are not to allow ourselves to be diverted from Christ and His righteousness.
To win this race, we must first put aside, strip off as it were, every weight, everything that would hold us back, that hinders us in the Christian life. What is the sin that so easily besets us? In the Greek, it is the sin that surrounds us; the sin that the majority of people are involved in; the sins that, because they are the common sins of our day, we persuade ourselves are not so bad. Everybody does it. We are all involved. With so many doing it, it cannot be that bad. They are the popular sins, the successful sins, the sins that seem to pay off.
Therefore, why alienate ourselves from the respectable people around us? Let us be all things to all men. So we surrender a little to the popular pressure. Keeping in harmony with the right people is more important than keeping in harmony with God. These common sins include everything that can be called in question, from display to entertainment.
They are the most dangerous because they are attractive to the multitude. Unfortunately, they lead us to conceal our Christian witness. They gradually erode away our relationship with Christ. They make us ashamed to look unto Jesus.
The greatest hindrance to running this race is found within our own life, not within the world. Our peril is that we forfeit our dependence on Him, our looking to Him. We know that our right relation to Him each day is our vital need.
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