Hebrews 12:1 (Philip's)
Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith.
(TPT)As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.
Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ.
TPT: I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into his abundance so that I may reach the purpose for which Christ Jesus laid hold of me to make me his own. 13 I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this;[f] however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. 14 I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. 15 So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires,[g] God will reveal it to them. 16 And let us all advance together to reach this victory-prize, following one path with one passion.
Just some scripture selections to focus on this morning. As Paul says we are to press on towards the goal and run this race of life in order to win the prize for which Christ has chosen us for. Many times we are kept so busy on making a living that we forget to enjoy life. God wants us to focus on Him and let go of everything that hinders our relationship with Christ. When Christ who is our life appears then we will also appear with Him in glory. Anything we say or do contrary to God's word is a hindrance in our faith walk. Sometimes, the enemy keeps us bound in chains and shackles of disobedience to God and His word. God's word is given to instruct us to live reverent lives and to avoid being a target for the enemy of our souls. Just as a parent warns children to stay away from things like cleaning chemicals which could potentially kill them if ingested, God being our heavenly father, warns us regarding our lifestyle choices, which could potentially destroy our eternal future. We steer our lives clear from what is forbidden by God in His word, in order to secure our eternal life with Him. God loves us very much and is interested in protecting us from the enemy's assaults. He bans idolatry, alternate lifestyles and a host of other things that would potentially destroy us. We need to align ourselves with God's word in order to enjoy God's blessing not only on our lives but also on our eternal future. Jesus said Straight is the way and narrow is the path to eternal life and few find it. Broad is the way that leads to destruction. Let us align ourselves to walk in the straight and narrow path in order to enjoy eternal life in heaven and steer away from the pathway of destruction. We will all live eternally, some in heaven and some in hell. How we live on earth determines our eternal destination. Let us, dear friends, free ourselves from sin, in order to enjoy eternity with Christ. Press on in the name of Jesus. Amen.