Message: Running the Race
Speaker: Tim Bounds
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
God has called us to press on, to continue to pursue Jesus in this heavenward life that he has called each of us to. Wherever you are, your story is not over. There is still work left to do. But you have to take the next step.
Read Hebrews 11
This is a great chapter of ancient men and women who trusted in God and were counting on God to come through and make things right before they even knew what His plan was. These people did not let their unanswered questions get in the way of trusting God. They kept moving forward in faith. There comes a point for each of us where we keep asking our questions, but we ask them from inside of a life of faith instead of waiting for all of our questions to be answered before we trust God.
DISCUSSION: Do you have questions or doubts concerning faith in Jesus? What steps are you taking to get your questions answered or to continue moving forward with your questions?
Hebrews 12 starts with the word "therefore". This chapter is meant to be read in light of the chapter that came before.
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. Hebrews 12:1-3
DISCUSSION: When it comes to life with Jesus, taking that next step towards him, what gets in our way? Go one step further: What gets in YOUR way? What holds you back?
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
The culture we are living in today has taught us to be consumers. We are always looking for the next thing or position or person or place to give us contentment. These things can become idols and give us a constant feeling of discontent. The writer of Hebrews says that instead of these things, we should "fix our eyes on Jesus".
DISCUSSION: What do you think it means to "fix our eyes on Jesus"? How does or how would that impact your life?
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8
Gratitude leads us to a place of contentment. We are grateful when we realize that Jesus did everything necessary for there to be a bridge that connects us to God. We just have to take the steps onto that bridge.
DISCUSSION: What does this mean for you personally? What is your next step towards Jesus?