TOPIC:“The Glory of Reaching the Goal”
“Let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1)
The Christian life is graphically portrayed in the Word of God as that of a race. A race that not only has a starting point, but just as important, a finishing goal. The tragedy is that not every person who starts will finish the course. Scores of believers in running the race fall by the wayside and never experience the glory of reaching the goal. And reaching the goal is what really counts for only then can we claim the victory of finishing the race. Much like that first century runner, the Apostle Paul, who declared: "I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God through Jesus Christ, is calling us up to Heaven" (Philippians 3:14, NLT).
While all kinds of questions could be raised about the race the Christian must run, the most important question that must be asked is this: Where will you end up? In other words, will you cross the finish line? This was the question that the author of Hebrews was concerned with when he wrote these words to those early believers of the first century. This was the question that concerned Jesus when He laid down the demands of discipleship to those who wanted to be His followers. He wanted them to count the cost of becoming a disciple so that those who started to follow Him would complete the course.
Our Master told His followers not to begin the construction of a building until they knew what it would cost, and not to go to war without discussing what it was going to take to defeat the enemy. Jesus wanted those perspective disciples to be able to finish what they were about to begin. He didn't want them to begin the race and not reach the goal. Let us now consider in the Bible verses before us what it is going to take for each one of us to experience the glory of reaching the goal. Notice again the challenge of the words of our text: “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”
Consider, to begin with, the PROBLEMS that must be AVOIDED as we run for the goal. The problems the Christian runner must avoid are stated in verse 1: "Let . . .