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 NIV
Well, here we are... the first week of December
The first week of the last month of the fourth quarter.
I watched a number of basketball and football games over the course of the past few weeks. High School basketball games. College football and basketball games. And even some Pro basketball games. One thing rang true is most every one of those games. Whether in overtime, the fourth quarter or late in the second half, the team that finished strong, won the game. Those that did not, had dreams crushed and/or records diminished.
In today’s passage out of Hebrews, the writer seems to be saying, “FINISH.” He encourages us to not just take off - but throw off - everything that hinders us and the sin that entangles us (causing us to slow much less, trip, stumble and fall) and with perseverance run the race marked out for us. He reminds us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the perfecter of our faith. Then the writer reminds us of what Jesus has done for us. He lived a sinless life. He endured the cross. He scorned its shame. He sat down at the right hand of God.
He finished strong.
He finished well.
Then the writer of Hebrews, writing to those ready to walk away from their faith due to harassment and persecution, reminds them (and us) to consider all that Jesus has done and gone through, so that they/we will not grow weary and lose heart. In other words, finish what has been begun in you.
Finish the race.
Keep the Faith… Carpe Diem