Beyond the Pulpit

We are headed toward the end of the first quarter of 2019. Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? If so, how’s that working out for you?

I’m sure that some of you that made resolutions are still going strong following through on your plans. But I would bet that many of you that made resolutions have faltered on your promise to yourself to do whatever it was that you thought would make your life better. You know what the great thing about resolutions is though? Even when you falter on them, you can still renew them … even when it isn’t January 1st.

The backbone to making, and sticking with, resolutions is encouragement. Encouragement from family and friends. Encouragement from coworkers and your church family. When the desire to follow through comes up short or when the stick-to-it-ness runs out, those around you can give you the encouragement you need to get going again.

There is also encouragement found in the Bible, too.

Hebrews 12:1-3 – “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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Christ set out as a human on earth with the mission of obliterating sin. His goal was to bring humanity back into right relationship with the Father. He worked toward this goal through his teaching, preaching, and relationships with his followers. And on the Mount of Olives, while praying to God, he asked the Father to “take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

Christ was running his race, but for a fleeting moment, his endurance faltered. In that moment, he fixed his eyes on God, called out to Him, and then returned to the race set before him. He is our example to follow.

When life gets tough … when we find ourselves running the races, we prefer not to … when we face hardships, illness, financial issues, or emotional stresses … remember the race that Christ ran. His race led him to take on the cross for you. “He endured the cross, scorning its shame” as part of his race against his persecutors … as part of his race to free us from sin.

If Christ can run that race, can we not run the races placed before us? “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12: 3). Our greatest encouragement is Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Kim