Finishing My Race

Posted on 24 Nov 2019, Pastor: Tolu Makinde
Title: Finishing My Race
Text: Heb 12:1-2
[Heb 12:1]  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
[Heb 12:2]  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • There is a race that is before us as believers
  • A race that is set individually, but our destination is the same
  • The race that Joe is running is different from the race that Jane is running, yet their destination is the same
  • The focus of the race is to get across the finish line unto Jesus
  • So, Jesus is the target of the race.  
  • Anything other than Jesus as the target will get one to the wrong destination
  • I pray you will run your race well in Jesus name
  • I pray you will finish your race well in Jesus name
Main Topic
1. The Race is a Marathon
  • The race we are running is not a race of 1 day or 1 week.  It is a race of a lifetime.
  • As a result it is a marathon
  • Don’t run the race like it is a sprint.  Some of us are impatient and God is teaching us patience
  • Since this is not a sprint, extreme patience and endurance are required
    • [Heb 12:1] …let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
    • [2Ti 2:3]  You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
    • [2Ti 2:4]  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
2. The Word of God is your food
  • In order to have the strength to keep running the race, you need to feed on what will give you strength
  • The Word of God is your daily food
  • There are nutrients in the Word that will supply all that you need to keep running the race
  • The more you feed on the Word, the more strength you develop, so feed on the Word daily
    • [Pro 4:20]  My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
    • [Pro 4:21]  Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
    • [Pro 4:22]  For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
    • [Pro 4:23]  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
    • [Pro 4:24]  Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.
3. The Holy Spirit is your Water
  • It is impossible to run a physical race and not get thirsty
  • It is equally impossible to run a spiritual race and not get thirsty spiritually
  • The Holy Spirit quenches our thirst spiritually
    • [Joh 4:13]  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
    • [Joh 4:14]  but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
  • You should be drinking from the fountain of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis
  • Every time you feel dry, go back to the Holy Spirit and drink, you will surely be refreshed
  • Better yet, drink daily from the Holy Spirit so you don’t feel thirsty at all
4. Discipline is Required
  • Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.
  • The word discipline is embedded in the word disciple.
  • One cannot be a disciple if one is not disciplined.  The disciples that lacked discipline will not finish their race well. 
  • Remember Judas Iscariot.
  • The code of behavior is the Bible
  • The Bible dictates what is allowed or not allowed in the race
  • Not following the dictates of the Bible disqualifies one from the race
  • May you not be disqualified in Jesus name
    • [1Co 9:24]  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
  • Run in a way that you obtain the prize – by being disciplined
5. Avoid Distractions
  • There will be distractions every day, every hour to make one lose focus of the target
  • Whatever that will make you lose sight of Christ, I pray that the Lord will keep it far from you in Jesus name.
    • [Act 20:24]  But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
    • [Heb 12:2]  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
  • Anything that will take our focus away from Jesus is a distraction to our race, avoid them
  • The purpose of distraction is to prevent one from finishing the race well
  • Don’t be distracted
6. Never Give Up
  • Whatever you do, never give up
  • If it is one step you took today towards finishing your race, it is better than nothing
  • If it is ten steps you took today, glory be to God
  • As long as you do not give up, you will get to the finish line
7. Shed the weight
  • [Heb 12:1]  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
  • There are weights that must be shed
  • The weights prevent you from running your race well.
  • You have got to lose these weights.  They will hold you back from running the race
  • Some of the weights are:
    • Pride
    • Unforgiveness
    • Selfishness
    • Lies
    • Backbiting
    • Bitterness
    • Envy
    • Anger
    • Wrath
    • Evil speaking
    • and many more….
  • They must be dropped if you are to finish the race
  • [2Ti 4:7]  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
  • Apostle Paul finished the race
    • He avoided distractions
    • He stayed focused on Jesus
  • Apostle Paul kept the faith by being disciplined
  • May you finish the race in Jesus name
  • May you keep the faith to the end in Jesus name