July 24, 2004Email to a FriendPrint
Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
Running always gets high marks as a vigorous form of physical exercise. Jogging has both zealous advocates and detractors, but millions purchase jogging equipment and pursue a rigorous program of regular exercise. Long-distance running seems to provide more aerobic value than sprinting.
The writer to the Hebrews uses the running imagery as a key to spiritual aerobics. Having reviewed for us the great heroes of faith in Chapter 11, he calls for a lifelong race with the necessary quality of perseverance. Paul echoes the same thought when he writes, “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Hebrews further points to the only One who can save us, “Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). He ran the race for us and won the victory. On our own we grow weary and lose heart. We cannot continue. We sin daily. But God supplies the strength, through Christ’s death and resurrection, so that we can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Proverbs assures us, “When you run, you will not stumble” (Proverbs 4:12). And Isaiah beautifully promises, “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength … they will run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31).
And so we run for physical exercise, disciplining our bodies for good health. And we run spiritually with eyes fixed on the cross of Christ which alone saves us and the world. Spiritual aerobics at work in the body of Christ.
PRAYER: O Lord God, help me to run spiritually with my eyes fixed on the cross of Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)