Introduction: One of the common dangers in Christian life is to give up when circumstances change and things do not go as we had expected. In John 6:67, Jesus turns to His twelve disciples and asks a very deep and searching question, “Do you want to go away as well?” The reason for asking the particular question is found in Verse 66 of same chapter, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him”.
During the early Church the Christians were at the verge of giving up, they were discouraged, disappointed and were losing hope! Firstly due to the severe persecution and secondly, delay in the fulfillment of the Divine Promises such as Jesus’ immediate return, the resurrection of believers and the coming of New Jerusalem.
It is in this context the writer to Hebrews in Chapter 12 encourages the Church to “ Look unto Jesus ” and run the race set before us.
Why should we run?
Verse 1 says, Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
What is the great cloud? The faithful believers in chapter 11 are the cloud of witnesses. They had their failures and short comings, but they are witnesses of what God can do, when we look up to Him. They are the ones who have passed on the legacy for us to continue with endurance.
Verse 1b, Let us run with Endurance
Christian life is compared to Running and not simply running, like a morning jogging or a 100 meters dash! It is running in a race as in a marathon or a relay race.
In this race it is not Competition but Concentration and singleness of purpose that matters. This race is for eternal life, for godliness, to know God, to have fellowship with Him now and forever!
The rules for running in this race lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely. We are cautioned about the possible challenges when we run and make sure we put aside anything that hinders us.
Finally, we are to Hold on to your Confidence
Our confidence in running this race is Jesus Christ! We are encouraged to Look unto Him and run. Turn away from your past failures, past sins, past life, past successes, past glory, and Look unto Jesus Christ!
You may ask why?
Well, for 3 reasons
We look to Him because of WHO HE IS
We look to Him because of WHAT HE DID
We look to Him because of WHERE HE REIGNS!
Who is He? He is the author and finisher of our faith! Before you and me, Jesus ran this race successfully! He knows everything about this race!
What did He do? He endured the Cross! Despising its shame! He did it for you and me.
Where He reigns? At the right hand of the Father, He is on the Throne of the Universe!
Jesus did all this so that you will not be discouraged in your souls.
Dear friends, God has been faithful to us during the last academic year and we were able to complete it successfully. As we being a new academic year, this is our theme, “ Looking unto Jesus”. There have been changes in the structure of the Bible College and keeping in line with our Vision and mission, we have started the Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.), program to cater to the growing need of pastors and evangelists in rural areas. We request you to pray that more students will be able to join in this program.
Thanks for your prayers.