November 17: Hebrews 12
"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Heb 12:1)
This is one the greatest exhortations in the New Testament perseverance. Employing an athletic metaphor, the author of Hebrews urges us to run "with endurance... the race." It is important to observe that we are not just bidden to "run harder," or "do better" - that would turn the gospel on its head. Hebrews insists that we observe the motivation and resources of our perseverance in the gospel. The temptation is to turn to our own resources, to say: "You're saved by grace, but you're on your own in perseverance." To say, (as I have found myself saying), "the entrance fee is nothing at all, but the annual dues is everything you've got!"
No! That's not it at all. The context makes it very clear: the race is "set for us" (12:1). The course has been plotted out for us. And someone - Someone - has gone ahead, faced the challenges, established stations of rest and provision to enable us to run in his footsteps. Jesus goes before us. He knows the way. Every inch of this race is marked by his footprints. We run "looking to Jesus (12:2). It is the way you came to faith in the first place and it is the way we continue in faith.
Have you lost sight of what brought you into the kingdom of God in the first place? It was not your efforts or promises. It was the grace of God. Now, as children of God - continue in that path, looking to Jesus for help and provision every step of the way. Do not look down at the waves for you will sink like a stone (as Peter discovered). The way to run the race is not to look at your feet to see how fast you're going; it is to look to Jesus every step of the way.