Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Only Adequate Resource

"There, 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, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith"

What does it mean for us to run the race set before us, the Christian faith, by looking to Jesus. I think our temptation is to attempt to run the race on an endurance produced by our own spiritual acumen. Our temptation is to run the race in our own strength. We depend on our gifts to help us complete this task. We depend on our own ability to cast of entangling sin and to produce the endurance necessary to continue.

This seems right. I mean, the writer of Hebrews tells us to run with endurance and to run by casting off the sin the clings closely. But, will this last? The answer is no. The writer of Hebrews knows this, and after telling us to run with endurance and by casting off sin, he tells us that we are only able to do this by looking to Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.

In our everyday moments, in this everyday race, there are going to be times when we are overwhelmed, when the race seems to be an impossibility. Whether school seems overbearing, the ministry is wearing us out, or we feel like failures in our roles as husbands, fathers, friends, churchmen, Jesus followers. It is in these times that we are tempted the most to try to dig ourselves out of this hole, to muster up more strength, and to keep running the race in our own endurance.

It is for this reason that we are told to direct our eyes to Jesus. We are pointed to Jesus for two reasons. He is the author of our faith, and He is the perfecter. At our points of failure, when we are overwhelmed, we must look to Jesus as author. He has started us on this race. He has brought us this far. His grace has carried us to this point. He has provided in the past. Moreover, He will perfect us. He not only has brought us this far, but his faithfulness in the past proves that He will be faithful in the future. He has brought us this far and He will bring us to the end. Some practical evidence of this is the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us. We should look to Jesus because He has brought everyone from this great cloud of witnesses unto the glorious finish. We should trust Him to bring us to the end because He has been faithful in the past.

Moreover, Jesus is the only adequate resource for us to run the race. The only way to stay on the race is to look to Jesus as author and perfecter. As source and provider. His fountain of living water is the limitless source of all necessary grace. In our moments of weakness, when we feel overwhelmed with entangling sin, with the over bearing weight of this life, we can't look to ourselves, but must look to Jesus who is the only adequate resource to keep us on pace.

Lastly, Jesus is only adequate resource because He has gone before us. He is the only one qualified to bring us unto completion. Jesus completed the ultimate race that His Father set before him. We must look to Jesus who joyfully endured the course of Calvary in order to clear the way for us. We must look to Him who bore the obstacles and weight of sin so that we may be free from its entanglement. We look to him who took on weakness, so that we may be strong in the race. We must look to Him who experienced overwhelming weariness so that we may not grow faint of heart. We must look to Christ, who has strengthened and sustained prior saints unto the glorious finish, who gives grace to both start and finish the race.

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