When Did My Couch to 5K Become a Marathon?

July 26, 2020 Speaker: Pat Maness

Topic: race Passage: Hebrews 12:1–12:2

Message: When Did My Couch to 5K Become a Marathon? 
(Running the Race You Never Expected to Run)

Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2

Crisis Fatigue — a state of being overwhelmed by constant, unrelenting pressures. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Surrounded by So Great a Cloud of Witnesses — See Hebrews 11

They are not witnesses of us but to us. 

To handle what is to come, look and see what’s already been done.

How to Run our Best Race Ever—Some “Let Us’s…”

1. Lay Aside Every Weight

A “weight” could be anything internal or external that slows us down.

Two Options for Laying Aside Weights: Leave It or Lift It

“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

2. Lay Aside Sin Which Clings So Closely

Sin — That which entangles us and causes us to fall and brings pain to ourselves and others.

“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

3. Run with Endurance

Races are won because runners commit again and again to take the next step.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)

What is your next step, your one action you can do?

4. Run the Race that is Set Before Us

The one word you will never hear God say is “Oops.”

We must run our Own Race and not worry about Other Runners.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

5. Look to Jesus

What should we not focus on?

“But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)

Our race may be difficult not because of our circumstances but because of our choices.

To handle what is to come, determine wisely what to focus on.

Why Stay Focused on Jesus?

He ran the Perfect Human Race.

1. He is the Founder and Perfecter of our faith.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

2. He Focused on the Joy Set Before Him

He knew that His Victory would secure The Victory for all time for all men.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

What did this “joy set before Him” drive Him to do?

3. He Endured the Cross

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” William Barclay

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” (1 Peter 2:24)

4. He Despised the Shame of the Cross

“Despised” means to disregard or not think about.

“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

5. He is Seated at the Right Hand of the Throne of God.

“Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (1 Peter 3:21-22) 

To handle what is to come, remember who is on the throne.

Making It Personal 

1. Who are examples of perseverance that can inspire you to press on?
2. What is the “marathon” that God has “set before you” right now?
3. What change of focus do you need as you run your race?
4. How did Jesus’ response to the cross change how you respond to running your race?
5. Who can you share these truths with who may be struggling as they run their race?