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Faithful to the Finish

March 22, 2015 Speaker: Shannon Ford

Passage: Hebrews 12:1–12:3

1 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.
2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

1) Faithful Followers Face Challenges (12:1)

“Run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

a) Consistent in Discipline

  • Lay hold of the Bible until the Bible lays hold of you. The better we know the Bible, the better we can know the person of God, the will of God, and how to work for God.
  • Start a fire burning inside of you for lost souls; otherwise your relationship with Christ will become cold and stale.

b) Consistent in Faith

  • The only way to learn strong faith is to endure strong trials. (George Muller).
  • A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted.

2) Faithful Followers Focus on Christ (12:2)

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus”

a) Focus your attention on Jesus as your Example

  • We need to live like Jesus, love like Jesus and leave behind what Jesus left behind.
  • Stay close and stay clean. There is no substitute for personal time with God (prayer and Bible reading).

b) Focus your attention on Jesus as your Provider

  • God’s purpose will always have God’s provisions.
  • God’s goal for our lives is not money but maturity, not happiness but holiness, not getting but giving.

3) Faithful Followers Finish with Courage (12:3)

“Do not grow weary and lose heart”

a) Endure suffering like Jesus

  • The burdens and battles involved in life are what help us mature, accomplish more for the Lord and bring glory to his name.
  • Pain and trials are almost constant companions, never enemies. They drive you into His loving arms.

b) Focus on Christ, not the Crisis

  • True victory in the life of a Christian is not the absence of adversity but rather it is the presence of Christ’s peace. (David Jeremiah)
  • In times of crisis, we need to not ask “Why me?” but instead “Why this?” The result of a crisis should be a greater understanding of who God is.

Principles to Ponder

  1. We are judged by how we finish, not by how we start.
  2. We don’t finish well by accident. We finish well by the choices we make.
  3. You may be near the starting line, in the middle of the race or near the end but wherever you are, continue to run your race. It’s a race worth finishing.