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Read: Hebrews 12:1-29

Focus:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1

Marathon runners do whatever it takes to lighten their load – they wear clothing and shoes that barely weigh anything, they don’t carry keys or cells phones or even water. Anything that holds them back is discarded as they are laser-focused on the finish line.

Paul uses this race metaphor to encourage his readers to, like a marathon runner, throw off anything that would take their eyes off the finish line, off of Jesus.

This race that we’re all running – it’s hard enough without burdening ourselves with extra things to carry. It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on what’s hindering us in doing our very best. What is it that weighs me down, holds me back, discourages me? How about you?

At times, I’ve taken a break from Facebook. Too often the negativity weighs me down and takes my focus off what’s real and important and true – so I’ve “thrown it off”. Being overscheduled can hinder us. Bitterness can cause us to stumble. A broken relationship, an addiction, posting things on-line that we later regret, anger – all these things can cause us to trip and fall – the “sin that so easily entangles.” What a relief if is to throw off the burden of sin and run unencumbered, persevering til the end.

Take some time and ask God to show you what’s hindering your race so you can set it down at the foot of the cross. Then get back on the course – you have a race to run!

Prayer:
Lord, please show me what’s hindering my race. Thank you that I can lay the burden of sin down at the cross and run the race you’ve set before me in freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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