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. Hebrews 12:1
Runners do not go to the starting line with their feet shackled or their coats on. To race well, runners must be prepared, and that means stripping off everything that might slow them, trip them up, or divert their attention from the finish line.
But how easy it is for believers to fool themselves into thinking that they can carry along some sin that turns their attention to themselves rather than to Christ and the goal that He has set for them! It is easy to forget the care of others, love for the loveless, and self-sacrificing for the suffering. We foolishly think that we can run the race with the shackles of greed, lust, or envy still binding us.
Jesus has come to be the coach and the trainer who will encourage us and stand by us as we run life's race. He empowers us to shift our gaze from ourselves to the goal, to take off the overcoat of sinful defensiveness and lay it on Him. He unshackles us from the insecurity that drives us into greed, lust, and envy. The forgiveness He gained for us and His presence enable us to run, alive and invigorated by faith in His promised victory.
PRAYER: Free us from our sin and all the evils that entangle us, Lord Jesus, and help us run life's race and reach You, our goal. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, 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 e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)