Thursday, May 24, 2012

Every Christ Follower needs this

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1)

Endurance or perseverance is needed for every facet of our lives.

Athletes in training, students studying for a degree or exam, parents trying to raise their children, single people seeking to live in obedience to the teachings of Christ, and married people seeking to live in humility and service to a spouse, need this important virtue.

With it, character and strength are formed; without it, people become whiners, cowards, quitters and failures. 

The Christian life is unlivable without a spirit of endurance.  

Christians face an unrelenting adversary. He is called Devil, Satan, and Accuser. He goes about night and day, accusing, tempting, attacking, destroying and distorting God’s plans.

If you are a Christian you are a target. If you are a Christian you will suffer for serving Jesus. The world in which the Christian lives is broken by sin. Creation groans and travails because of human rebellion against God. This broken world will be set right when Christ returns. Christians are called to endure as they journey through a world at war with God. 

Christians also fight a sinful nature. Christians often give in to their weaknesses, their negative feelings, anger, discouragement, and laziness. 

Great people, great churches, great marriages, great academic careers, great accomplishments, to the glory of God, require great endurance. Are you a quitter? Have you started something and then given up? Have you quit church? Are you thinking of quitting your marriage? Are you about to surrender faith in Christ? The writer to the Hebrews tells to look to Christ as the model of endurance: 

“Look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Then he says, “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Hebrews 12: 2-3