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How to Prepare for your Future Now!

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Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

Mickey Spillane says, “The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle.” http://www.freshsermonillustrations.net

The ending is the context for everything that precedes it. Without a strong ending, the value of our lives is cheapened and the potential of our influence is diminished. Our faithfulness must be for a lifetime. We must finish well.

How to Prepare for your Future Now!
Good morning!
Chapter 12 is about being prepared for the future…
We have been fortunate in that we have managed to have family reunion with our family every couple of years…These reunions are always great times of connections… We just got back from a wonderful time with family…
One evening we were sitting around the dinner table and this great question came up for our families.
Where do we think we will be in the Next 5 years?
Now, for our children the next five years means many changes… The older children (including Nephews and Nieces) will be all done college - hopefully working and possibly starting families...with exception for our youngest Mark and cousin Luke who will be in High School and Mark will be in College… It gets a little harder as adults to determine where we are going to be in 5 years time?
our kids are preparing for their futures… we are also preparing for tomorows.
Where are you going to be in 5 years?
is about being prepared for what is ahead — living with perseverance and confidence as we face the things ahead of us... The writer to the Hebrews is writing to strengthen a young Generation of Christians.. He is wanting his readers to understand how to become the kind of people who can cope with the brutal realities of life....What he tell is that life is a Race… and that is how we should approach it… In Chapter 11 we have roll call or hall of faith… Those who ran the race --- and they ran the race with Faith!! The phrase by faith comes up 27 times in one chapter!
… according to the book of Hebrews each our us should be a futurist... preparing now for what is ahead.
We have fortunate in that we have managed to have family reunion with our family in Boston every couple of years…These reunions are always great times of connections…Our family loves to complete and have fun with each other… games
One evening we were sitting around the dinner table and the question came up… Where do we think we will be in the Next 5 years? Now, for our children the next five years means many changes… The older children (including Nephews and Nieces) will be done college - hopefully working and possibly starting family… for our youngest Mark will be in College… our kids are preparing for their futures… but you know it’s not just our children that should be being prepared… for our futures..
the Mark will be in College…
Are we preparing for our Future NOW?
The writer to the Hebrews is writing to strengthen a young Generation of Christians.. He is wanting his readers to understand how to become the kind of people who can cope with the brutal realities of life.
One of the questions that we have been asking as leadership is what are things going to look like in 5-10 years time… When it comes to our mission and vision ---
In roll call or hall of faith… the phrase by faith comes up 27 times in one chapter! Faith comes up 46 times in the whole book.
The phrase by faith comes up 27 times in one chapter! Faith comes up 46 times in the whole book.
In roll call or hall of faith… the phrase by faith comes up 27 times in one chapter! Faith comes up 46 times in the whole book.
Chapter 12 is about being prepared for the future…
It’s not just the Steve Jobs and the Elon Musk of the world that need to be futurists....
Regardless of your age right now you have to be thinking about the future…we have be thinking about
These men and women were forward thinkers…regardless of their station in life or their age they continued to think about what lay ahead……some of them believed God even when the fulfil of these promises didn't come into fruition in their life time..
Each one of those men and women were mentioned were futurists…
They were forward thinkers…regardless of their station in life or their age they continued to think about what lay ahead……
We have a whole body of teaching in scriptures book of Daniel and Revelations that just deals with the future. In theology we call it Eschatology study about the end times or the future — In scripture God’s plan is working towards a completion and consummation of all things..
Each one of those men and women were mentioned were futurists…
In theology we call it Eschatology about the future — God’s plan is working towards a completion and consummation of all things..
Here is thing is that we need to be thinking about the future - The future is relevant now…
We all need to be futurists...Regardless of your age right now you have to be thinking about the future…
What we need to take away from is that that we all need to be futurists..…
Here is thing is that we need to be thinking about the future - The future is relevant now…
uite quickly… and the future is relevant now..
History is a great teacher.
the future is relevant now..
The ground we are standing on this morning is because there were those who came before us who had faith they were... futurists… …
Many of those who came into this area were pioneers- they came here not knowing exactly what they would find - The promise was fertile land… and they learned to do the best with what was here... They were visionaries… they came here looking for a better hope and a better future… that’s what a futurist does! They were men and women and faith ---they saw that one of the great needs in this community was a church and the built one in the center of town...
in this land. They were visionaries… they came here looking for a better hope and a better future… that’s what a futurist does! They saw that one of the great needs in this community was The hope of the gospel… and were willing to start in a chicken coup..
hope of the gospel… and were willing to start in a chicken coup..
We stand on their shoulders… this morning
A word that comes up a lot in these closing chapters of the book of Hebrews - Is the word “Consider” … it comes up seven times in the last three chapters and it means —‘to think out carefully or to to reason thoroughly - It is calling for an examine ----Examine your life in light of the what lies ahead…
Now I believe that there is a perfect will and permissive will for our lives… That life is a series of choices and decisions…
The reason we have failed is that we have not clearly defined the Path…and removed obstacles to make it a smoother journey.
instead of the path going from A - B… When we don’t have well defined goals we tend to suffer from drifting.... and so we wonder off task.
If we are going to prepare for life we have to think about the End Zone! What do we consider to be a life well lived? What is the end Goal?
Is the word “Consider” … it means —‘to think out carefully or to to reason thoroughly - It is calling for an examine ----your life in light of the what lies ahead.
What the book of Hebrews does is causes Us to
Examine your life --
What is the end Goal?
Consider the Direction of your life and where its taking you..
Evaluate your priorities to see if they align with God’s will..
Consider the End … What kind of of outcomes do we want out of life…
what are we to consider… the end.
The ending is the most important part of the journey..
“No one reads a book to get to the middle... why ..because the most important part of a story is the ending.
“No one reads a book to get to the middle : - because the most important part of a story is the ending.
The ending is the context for everything that precedes it.
We can think of several pastors who God has used powerfully.. for 20 - 30 years… then they had a moral failure.. some of them still have ministries but they lost influence.
sin has a way of making us stupid!
Without a strong ending, the value of our lives is cheapened and the potential of our influence is diminished.
Our faithfulness must be for a lifetime. We must finish well.
Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary, there are 100 or so leaders in the Bible, two-thirds of whom did not finish well.
Leaders like King David. When King David fell, he brought shame to his entire house and his kingdom. His son Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, squandered Israel’s future on foreign wives who introduced their gods to the culture. If Dr. Hendricks is right, if 2/3rds of Biblical leaders did not finish well, then Paul’s statement “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;“takes on greater significance. He was one of the elite of the faith
Leaders like King David. When King David fell, he brought shame to his entire house and his kingdom.
His son Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, squandered Israel’s future on foreign wives who introduced their gods to the culture....
We have many examples today of those who started out well but weren’t able to go the distance… We used to get shocked when we heard of some evangelical leader falling… now it seems that we not shocked disappointed… God is able to redeem the fallen… but there is always a cost involved..
In we are given a list of people who finished well… the broke through the tape at the finish line.... This significant group is called the cloud of witness in Hebrews chapter 12…
But … we have a comprehensive list of Mens and women who didn’t fail but they finished well! They persevered in faith and broke through the tape at the finish line..
Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary, there are 100 or so leaders in the Bible, two-thirds of whom did not finish well. (Go the Distance) http://www.freshsermonillustrations.net

Leaders like King David. When King David fell, he brought shame to his entire house and his kingdom. His son Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, squandered Israel’s future on foreign wives who introduced their gods to the culture. If Dr. Hendricks is right, if 2/3rds of Biblical leaders did not finish well, then Paul’s statement “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;“takes on greater significance. He was one of the elite of the faith

I… they persevered in faith and broke through the tape at the finish line..
. In This amazing group of people are called the cloud of witness —- they are those in the grandstands cheering us on..
This significant group is called the cloud of witness in Hebrews chapter 12…
Why was Paul able to finish well? For one thing, he didn’t take the finish line for granted.
Hebrews 12:1–2 ESV
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, looking 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.
T/S We are given these examples to clarify the pathway of faithfulness and to show us how we to can ...finish well… The way that we run the Race to finish well is...
How to Prepare for your Future Now!
Hebrews 12:1–3 ESV
1 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, 2 looking 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. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

1. Stay Encouraged and Shed the excess Weight!

The imagery of athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
“to engage in a contest,” evoked thoughts of tense exertion, maximum effort, and a constantly renewed concentration of energy on the attainment of the goal
The imagery of athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
the purpose of this metaphor “to engage in a contest,” evoked thoughts of tense exertion, maximum effort, and a constantly renewed concentration of energy on the attainment of the goal
a. Stay Encouraged by the Examples of others And how they engage in life
That it requires effort and constant renewal of concentration of energy in order the attain the goal

“to engage in a contest,” evoked thoughts of tense exertion, maximum effort, and a constantly renewed concentration of energy on the attainment of the goal

The imagery of participating in athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
The allusion is to a distance race requiring disciplined commitment and endurance
One of the ways we stay Encouraged is by the Examples of others
That it requires effort and constant renewal of concentration of energy in order the attain the goal — The allusion is to a distance race requiring disciplined commitment and endurance…
We are not alone in this race!
The expressions , “so great,” is marked with emphasis
— we are given a picture of an amphitheater with its ascending rows of spectators who gathered to watch the games… They are witness to our efforts… These are not passive spectators but they are active participants --- Cheering us on --- in the race....
grandstand --- an amphitheater with its ascending rows of spectators who gathered to watch the games… They are witness to our efforts… These are not passive spectators but they are active participants --- Cheering us on --- in the race.... If you are needing to be encouraged read through chapter 11… and just see how God came through when his people trusted and believed… The word witness comes from the word Martyrs that reminds us that some of these Christians gave everything and endured so much more than many of us in the Western world will ever endure… the church was built on the blood of the Marytrs… there was a cost involved.
In Chapter 11 we have the roll call of faith... all those who lived and died in faith... some obtaining what is promised and other seeing them from a distance and not possessing them... But the common theme is that they lived by faith
All those mentioned lived and died in faith... some obtaining what is promised and other seeing them from a distance and not possessing them... But the common theme is that they lived by faith..
The imagery of participating in athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
That it requires effort and constant renewal of concentration of energy in order the attain the goal — The allusion is to a distance race requiring disciplined commitment and endurance
Therefore - drawing some logical conclusions -- what does this mean to us today..
since--- We have this incredible background of examples of faith... who are cheering us on from the grandstands..We are to shed the extra weight - it speaking of the foot race in the olypic Games..
auditorium of faithful witnesses...who the word witnesses is the same word as (martyrs).
2. Stay Encouraged by shedding our Baggage.
The imagery of participating in athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
The imagery of participating in athletic contests and games was common place in first century preaching — it was a means of dramatizing the character of the Christian experience… It was to remind the hears that life was being engaged in a contest…
That it requires effort and constant renewal of concentration of energy in order the attain the goal — The allusion is to a distance race requiring disciplined commitment and endurance
The first step of preparation to run the race requires that the racers strip off every weight that might slow them down. Christians must be “spiritually trim” and able to run the race unencumbered...
Life Application New Testament Commentary God’s Discipline Proves His Love / 12:1–13

The first step of preparation to run the race requires that the racers strip off every weight that might slow them down. Christians must be “spiritually trim” and able to run the race unencumbered

In the footrace in the Olympic games the contestants actually removed all of their clothing before running so that nothing could impede them during the race —
This is what the preacher is saying ..
removed all of their clothing before running so that nothing could impede them during the race
let us...lay aside every weight…means putting aside the things that things that will impediment our progress and holds us back... (something that gets in the way of our progress)
We are to set aside every encumbrance and superfluous equipment, and run the race.”
The Message of Hebrews 1. What We Must Reject (12:1a)

Two items could easily impede their progress. One will restrict their activity (weights), the other would mar their performance (sin

— These weights could be a number of things… good and bad… For example the weight might be time management… or types of entertainment we engage in.... certain relationships that are pulling us down...
lay aside every weight...Put away every weight (onkos) impediment that holds us back... (something that gets in the way of our progress)
But what is especially important is to strip off the sin that hinders our progress.. He calls it the sin that easily besets or esv says every sin which clings so closely…
and every sin which clings so closely… The sin that clings to us is the sin that so easily entangles us...
That phrase is referring to habitual sin.
that easily beset.. (which clings so closely
“the sin which that so easily entangles us.” That phrase is referring to habitual sin. We cannot finish the race unless we lay aside every weight, including habitual sin
Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

Look at the phrase “the sin which doth so easily entangles us.” That phrase is referring to habitual sin. We cannot finish the race unless we lay aside every weight, including habitual sin

Do you have a signature sin—a sin that defines you? It might be a critical spirit, a lustful eye or uncontrolled anger.
Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

Do you have a signature sin—a sin that defines you? It might be a critical spirit, a lustful eye or uncontrolled anger. The writer of Hebrews tells us we must lay aside that weight if we plan on finishing the race. You can run a sprint with weights on, but you can’t run a marathon carrying excessive weight. If you don’t deal with that sinfulness, it will weigh you down and keep you from finishing well. You may be able to fake it for a short time period, but you cannot fake an entire life. 1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (NLT) Please confess your sin to the Lord today, and lay it aside so you can run your race.

You can run a sprint with weights on, but you can’t run a marathon carrying excessive weight.
If you don’t deal with that sinfulness, it will weigh you down and keep you from finishing well. You may be able to fake it for a short time period, but you cannot fake an entire life.
says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (NLT)
The way you shred the extra weight is through confession… repentance… Repentance is change… it’s not 180 degree change… dealing with hurts and broken places… dealing with offenses… that repentance.
Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

Look at the phrase “the sin which doth so easily entangles us.” That phrase is referring to habitual sin. We cannot finish the race unless we lay aside every weight, including habitual sin

Once you have shedded the weight you are able to run the race that is God has set before you— Each of us is in a unique race — the word set means “laid out,” “prescribed,” “appointed,” ---
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith
and the race that is God has set before you— Notice we don’t get to choose the course but God has marked out your race...Linguistically the ptcp προκείμενον may be understood to define the race as “laid out,” “prescribed,” “appointed,” or alternatively as “lying before,” “ahead.”

The image of the race is not markedly different from that of the journey, for the object of both is to “get there,” not “get there first.” The best modern analogy is the Boston Marathon, in which (unless you are a world-class runner) the object of running is to finish, not to win

The object of the Christian life is not to get there first but to “get there,”
Tho object of the race is not to finish first but to get there!
AND - (conjuction). Let us Run --- steadfast endurance --
AND - (conjuction). Let us Run --- steadfast endurance -- keep up the pace… Most Marathons are actually running their own race… you will often hear of personal bests… its all about completing the race…
There must be firm resolve not to drop out of the contest but to exert every effort to cross the finish line despite hardship, exhaustion, and pain —
The temptation is to drop out when we hit resistance… to quit...
we need to get over mistakes of yesterday...some of us are shackled to the past.
-- The Race is ahead of us... The best modern analogy of this is the Boston Marathon, in which (unless you are a world-class runner) the object of running is to finish, not to win… If you have met anyone that has run the Boston Marathon— The real accomplishment is the finishing the race itself...... they will know two things first of all where they placed in the race and the second is their personal time or their PR personal Record…
it’s all about your PR personal Record…
This exactly what is being talked about Hebrews… The object of faith is not to get “there first” — but finish the race—
That was the apostles Paul secret…
Philippians 3:13 ESV
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
The key is to stay encouraged in the race...
On
We Stay Encouraged by the Life of Christ
C. We Stay Encouraged by the Life of Christ
As impressive as this list is of OT saints… But the supreme example of how to finish well…is Jesus…We are too look to Jesus because Jesus is standing at the finish Line!!!
we go on by having the right focus looking to Jesus the author and perfecto
We are told to Look to Jesus- aphoao - looking means to to fix one’s attention on.’ — It is upon him that our faith depends from start to finish -
Life Application New Testament Commentary God’s Discipline Proves His Love / 12:1–13

He set the course of faith, ran the race first (6:20), and now waits for us to join him at the end, encouraging us all the way

aphoao - looking means to to fix one’s attention on.’
It is upon him that our faith depends from start to finish
ἀφοράωa: to keep thinking about, without having one’s attention distracted—‘to think about, to fix one’s attention on.’
Jesus is the Pioneer and the perfecter of Faith... He set the course of faith, ran the race first (6:20),
Hebrews 6:20 ESV
20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
We have lots of examples of Faith... but the Jesus is the Pioneer and the perfecter of Faith... Jesus not only pioneered the path of faith but he also reach the end successfully..
Jesus went ahead of us and now waits for us to join him at the end, encouraging us all the way. We can trust an unknown future to known God .... because Jesus not only pioneered the path of faith but he also reach the end successfully..
He set the course of faith, ran the race first (6:20), and now waits for us to join him at the end, encouraging us all the way
and now waits for us to join him at the end, encouraging us all the way
the best example is the founder and perfecter of Faith... God who is able to immeasurably more that we ask or think... He not only initiates but he completes... or perfects faith...
God who is able to immeasurably more that we ask or think... He not only initiates but he completes... or perfects faith...
Jesus not only pioneered the path of faith but he also reach the end successfully..
The word Perfecter tĕlĕiōtēs, means consummator and finisher -
5051. τελειωτής tĕlĕiōtēs, tel-i-o-tace´; from 5048; a completer, i.e. consummater:—finisher
- The initiator and completer of our Faith - Is the supreme example of how to finish well-
We are told that Jesus persevered in the face of the Cross... Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
We are told that Jesus Joyfully persevered in the face of the Cross... Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
We are told that Jesus Joyfully persevered in the face of the Cross... Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
Christ the supreme example of how to move forward in Faith- Jesus Joyfully persevered in the face of the Cross... Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
We encouraged to think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him. Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
Jesus Joyfully persevered in the face of the Cross... Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.
Life Application New Testament Commentary God’s Discipline Proves His Love / 12:1–13

Hebrews encouraged them to think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him. Christ was ridiculed, whipped, beaten, spit upon, and crucified. Even so, he did not give in to fatigue, discouragement, or despair.

Joyfully persevered in the face of the Cross.. for the joy that was set before him...
The Cross was ultimate shame and humiliation... to be publically displayed as a criminal...
There is some ambiguity in the translation “for the joy” that was set before him endured the cross---
“for the joy” can also mean “for the sake of joy” or it is “instead of joy ” — It could mean he joyfully went to the cross… or He renounced the joy that could have been his, by enduring the cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
the race placed (set) before him... It was not an easy assignment... Cross was ultimate shame and humilation... to be publically displayed as a criminal... no honor in dying on a cross...
He renounced the joy that could have been his, he endured a cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
He renounced the joy that could have been his, he endured a cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
Renouncing the joy that could have been his, he endured a cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
He deliberately chose to renounce the joy proposed to him in order to share in the contest proposed for us.
. Cross was ultimate shame and humiliation... to be publically displayed as a criminal... no honor in dying on a cross...
disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
the race placed (set) before him... It was not an easy assignment... Cross was ultimate shame and humiliation... to be publically displayed as a criminal... no honor in dying on a cross...
The Joy before him can mean “for the sake of joy” or it is “instead of joy ” — It could mean he joyfully went to the cross… or He renounced the joy that could have been his, by enduring the cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
can also mean “for the sake of joy” or it is “instead of joy ” — It could mean he joyfully went to the cross… or He renounced the joy that could have been his, by enduring the cross, disregarding the shame associated with crucifixion -
How did Jesus endure with Joy...pressed on by.
He deliberately chose to renounce the joy proposed to him in order to share in the contest proposed for us.
Either works in the context.. Because either way He put others before himself..
Disesteeming the shame..- interesting phrase... How many times to we allow people and situations to have power over us... and the way that we feel... Often there is this desire to please others..... Disarming the shame...
disregard for the opinions of the hostilities of the world
Shame is a painful feeling due to the consciousness of having done or experienced something disgraceful—‘shame, disgrace
Jesus disregard for the opinions of the hostilities of the world
When we face life with attitude of Joy we can litterally disarm those things that have power over us.
The shame of the cross did not hang over Jesus.... because he was looking other-side...of the cross where he would be seated with Christ...
God’s right hand is thrown into sharp contrast with the humiliating death, marking a striking reversal of the situation of rejection and animosity endured by Jesus.
Hebrews 12:3–4 ESV
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Heb 12:3-

2. Dump the Excess Weight!

T/S When we consider Jesus we further clarify the pathway of faithfulness — he himself is the path forward to show us how to ...finish well.. we need to

2. Develop Endurance and be prepared for the last 2/3rds!

It is no longer the footrace that is in view but the boxing arena, involving bloodshed and even death

· In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes ABOUT THE .
· The coaching staff of a high school cross-country running team got together for dinner after winning its second state championship in two years. The program had been transformed in the previous five years from good (top 20 in the state) to great (consistent contenders for the state championship on both the boys' and girls' teams).
· “I don't get it,” said one of the coaches. “Why are we so successful? We don't work any harder than other teams. And what we do is just so simple. Why does it work?”
· He was referring to their simple strategy: We run best at the end. We run best at the end of workouts. We run best at the end of races. And we run best at the end of the season, when it counts the most. Everything is geared to this simple idea, and the coaching staff knows how to create this effect better than any other team in the state.
In his book Confronting Powerless cChirst
· For example, they place a coach at the 2-mile mark (of a 3.1-mile race) to collect data as the runners go past. Then the coaches calculate NOT how fast the runners go, but how many competitors they pass at the end of the race, from mile two to the finish.
Fresh Sermons Can I Have a Witness?

The hardest part of the race, according to Rick, is the middle where few fans cheer and the runner is acutely aware of how tired his body is. For Rick, he knows that his wife will be waiting for him at the finish line and there are always fans cheering at the beginning, but the middle

· The kids learn how to pace themselves and race with confidence: “We run best at the end,” they think at the end of a hard race. “So, if I'm hurting bad, then my competitors must hurt a whole lot worse!” (Jim Collins, Good To Great, Harper Business, 2001, p. 206; www.PreachingToday.com)
We have to prepare for the last 2/3 of the race… I read that the last 6 miles of a marathon have been called no mans land… you have to push through…
the last 6 miles of a marathon have been called no mans land… you have to push through…
When you hit that point ---
The preacher says Consider Jesus! When you think of the passion— it began in the garden of Gasthrmene .. Jesus prayed to the father — if it be possible may the cup he was about to drink be removed — then he prayed not my will but you will be done....
a. Consider the Endurance of Christ in the face of Hostility...
Jesus endured opposition his whole ministry… bu the passion week was the hardest… The same crowd that was trying to crown him he week before were now crying out crucify him...
There is a change of metaphors from the race to that of a boxing match… it was toughest sports in the greek games.. and bloody wounds were common place… The stoic philosopher Seneca… wrote that the true athelete “saw his own blood”
Jesus kept his focus on his mission...
DON'T GROW WEARY... There is a processes of moving forward in Faith.. Through discipleship.
Consider HIM
to think or reason with thoroughness and —‘to think out carefully, to reason thoroughly, to consider carefully, to reason, reasoning.’
to think or reason with thoroughness and —‘to think out carefully, to reason thoroughly, to consider carefully, to reason, reasoning.’
Jesus endured hostility for those who were blinded to God’s plan of salvation…
Life Application New Testament Commentary God’s Discipline Proves His Love / 12:1–13

so Christians struggle against opposition from hostile nonbelievers and sometimes even from fellow believers. During their struggle, the Jewish Christians had not yet given their lives

Jesus had not allowed the hostile opposition of sinful men to wear him down but rather he triumphed over it…
We also struggle against opposition from hostility from others… people that may not get us.. or understand us...
Jesus had not allowed the hostile opposition of sinful men to wear him down but rather he triumphed over it…
Jesus triumphed over the threshold of Pain…
Jesus triumph over suffering gives us a new perspective of our own sufferings… The image of the empty cross is a powerful icon for Christians.. it reminds us that we triumph in Christ… regardless of the test and regardless of the trial…
Jesus triumping over suffering gives us a new perspective of our own sufferings… The image of the empty cross is a powerful icon for Christians.. it reminds us that we triumph in Christ… regardless of the test and regardless of the trial…
Jesus was dying for the very people who were crucifying him..
We Leverage the example of Jesus - Who endured — hostility and wrong doing
Leverage this example of Jesus
who endured wrong doing against himself...
Let this be an encouragement to
b. Don’t Grow Weary ---
negative verbs… used…Don’t grow weary...
What the preacher in effect is
Don’t Grow weary!
“Don’t give up too soon; don’t relax before the tape; don’t collapse until the winning post is past; stay on your feet until you get to the end.”
One of the biggest hindrances to progressing in Faith is sin that keeps on wearing us down... the Daily Grind of life --- keeps on wearing on the same spot… What is needed is stamina and the determination to “go the distance” ---
Hebrews 10:39 ESV
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
Os Guinness talks about his last visit to John R. W. Stott three weeks before Stott died. Guinness calls Stott “one of the greatest Christian leaders of the last century”, whom he had known over many decades. Of that last visit, Guinness says, “After an unforgettable hour and more of sharing many memories over many years, I asked him how he would like me to pray for him. Lying weakly on his back and barely able to speak, he answered in a hoarse whisper, ‘Pray that I will be faithful to Jesus until my last breath.’” Then Guinness adds, “Would that such a prayer be the passion of our generation too.”
What is called for is stamina and the determination to “go the distance” in order to attain the goal.... This the encouragement in Chapter 10 where the the righteous are those
our personal sins... keep on holding us captive and it is going to training ourselves in Godliness..
Hebrews 10:38–39 ESV
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
In vers 4 there is a change of metaphors from the race to that of a boxing match…
In vers 4 there is a change of metaphors from the race to that of a boxing match…
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
The boxing match was the toughest sport in the greek games.. and bloody sport… The stoic philosopher Seneca… Seneca so graphically put it, “the only contestant who can confidently enter the lists [for combat] is the man who has seen his own blood, who has felt his teeth rattle beneath his opponent’s fist”
Roman philosopher Seneca so graphically put it, “the only contestant who can confidently enter the lists [for combat] is the man who has seen his own blood, who has felt his teeth rattle beneath his opponent’s fist”
it was toughest sports in the greek games.. and bloody wounds were common place… The stoic philosopher Seneca… wrote that the true athelete “saw his own blood”
These young Jewish Christians had gone through tough persecution -they had lost property and imprisioned --- but none them had gone through martyrdom…None of them had got to the point of laying down their lives.... Keep on going..
ingression
If we are going to prepare for what is ahead we have to let go of those things that Hold us back...impede our growth. Need embrace Discipleship..
leg go of those things that Hold us back...impede our growth.
and our need for training and discipline
Hebrews 12:5–11 ESV
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Heb 12
T/S IF WE

3. Embrace Training and be Willing to make Course Corrections!

A marathon is just a little over 26 miles, but experts tell you not to run over 20 miles in your training. That means the last six miles of a marathon are "no man's land."
You don't know what you're getting yourself into. You may hit a wall. You may have cramps. You only know that it's going to be tough. But you also try to believe that if you train hard enough, you will be ready able to cross the finish line.
The word discipline comes up seven times in seven verses....
Discipline n. — the imposition of painful consequences or other disadvantages upon someone for their disobedience as part of a process of improving someone’s character or actions.
Discipline or the lack of discipline is what forms us...
All of us have gone through School… we all have an education …Im talking about book learning… but life itself is instructive… God uses Life to train his disciples… Life is teaching us how to endure difficulties and trust God… Our training includes guidance, reproof, correction and even punishment--- consequences...
John Stott calls this the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God. He tells us that our struggles can bring us a far deeper experience of the continuing and dependable love of God.

The biblical concept of discipline (παιδεία) combines the nuances of training, instruction, and firm guidance with those of reproof, correction, and punishment.

The preacher tells that the presence of hardships is proof that God is dealing with the community..
In the Hebrew culture the primary responsibility for the establishment of discipline belonged to the father, whom God held accountable for the instruction and correction of his children.
Among the Hebrews, primary responsibility for the establishment of discipline belonged to the father, whom God held accountable for the instruction and correction of his children.
A father disciplines his child precisely because he loves him and desires him to experience life as approved by God
Proverbs 13:24 ESV
24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
When we discipline our Children we often defining boarders… it’s not okay to hit your sister over the head! It is not polite to talk with your mouth full of food? It is good to pick up after yourself.... It is good to brush your teeth… these are basics of training in the home…

A father disciplines his child precisely because he loves him and desires him to experience life as approved by God

When we discipline our Children we often defining boarders… it’s not okay to hit your sister over the head! It is not polite to talk with your mouth full of food? It is good to pick up after yourself.... It is good to brush your teeth… these are basics of training in the home…
When child breaks a boundry--- what happens? Consequences..... discipline and trainings takes place... An absence of discipline in the home, then, would actually be an indication of a parents rejection. The preacher calls those who are not discplined illegitimate children… I remember being in a grocery line and stranger trying to discipline and correct our children.. it was upsetting… they don’t have the right..
An absence of discipline in the home, then, would actually be an indication of a parents rejection.
The presence of hardships is proof that God is dealing with the community.. Absenttee fathers?
Absentee fathers? Problem is training

the analogy of the discipline of earthly fathers, the author encouraged a submissive spirit to the discipline of the Father of our spirits which is life-preserving (and live) as well as productive of an experience of His holiness, which involves a rich harvest of righteousness and peace. But Christians must let this discipline have its full effect and be trained by it.

Training in the Christian life is ongoing…Discipleship is assumed in the New Testament.. When you come to Christ it comes with expectations that you will that you will grow in the knowledge of God..
Being Disciplined is the Privilege of Sonship!
When we experience God’s discipline, we can be encouraged that we really are God’s children.
Life Application New Testament Commentary God’s Discipline Proves His Love / 12:1–13

When we experience God’s discipline, we can be encouraged that we really are God’s children.

You would expect good parents to discipline their Children They love their children and because they care for their future…
You know that small things ignored now can lead to bigger consequences latter… Ingratitude now… Disrespect now.... Entitlement now… Can lead to devistation later...
No nobody loves the process of discipline … but we all love the rewards of discipline!
Those who are trained (gegymnasmenois) know that it all requires effort, but it is abundantly worth while.
GOD HAS NOTHING BUTBOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND!!

God is training his children for the enjoyment of life in its fullest sense. The appeal to the common experience of corrective discipline in the sphere of the home points to the greater significance of submission to divine discipline

God is training his children for the enjoyment of life in its fullest sense. The appeal to the common experience of corrective discipline in the sphere of the home points to the greater significance of submission to divine discipline
There is never a truer verse that
Hebrews 12:11 ESV
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Key verse 11… Discipline and training might seem unpleasant now --- but training will come in useful later on. ---- Nobody love discipline…
Our children may not understand now --- but they will understand
No matter how painful the experience God will use it --- in his sovereignty nothing is wasted..
Conclusion:
is an invitation to renewed spiritual vitality…

It is instructive to recall that it is God’s intention to lead many sons and daughters to glory (2:10). It is also his intention that they shall participate in his holiness (12:10)

Hebrews 12:12 ESV
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
Hebrews 12:12–13 ESV
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

drooping hands and weakened knees,” evoke the picture of the person who is thoroughly exhausted and discouraged

The picture here is one who is failing at the race you stum

The figure of the athlete (the wearied and beaten boxer?) who drops his hands in weakness was a commonplace in

The picture here is the wearied and beaten boxer? The hands are down and they are just beaten up.... The purpose of training is always for renewal purposes… that we would be stronger...
Here is the encouragement from the coach from ring side… lift up those hanging arms… don’t quite… don’t give up… Strengthen your stance...
Training is going pave the way....to what is ahead.
Goal should be Wholeness... Pick up those hands that hang low.
Most “paths” encountered in nature wind and dip along with the terrain.
A straight path, however, has most likely been constructed by someone who took the effort to move the rocks, level out the holes, and even clear away little pebbles that would be hard on one’s feet. This picture of making a straight path ties in with the “righteousness”
and ultimately fruitfulness and blessings...
The endurance of faith demands heart, a fact recognized by the writer in his thematic concern with the loss of heart within the community addressedGoal should be Wholeness... Pick up those hands that hang low.
When we experience God’s discipline, we can be encouraged that we really are God’s children. The endurance of faith demands heart, a fact recognized by the writer in his thematic concern with the loss of heart within the community addressed
Doxology and Challenge —
We must ask ourselves, How much of eternity is in what we are doing?

We must ask ourselves, How much of eternity is in what we are doing?

The Challenge you to identify… the things that are impeding your progress — maybe it is good things that are slowing you down… maybe it’s some besetting sin --- keeps knocking you back.. I am convinced that the enemies tactic is keep on knocking us down..

We must ask ourselves, How much of eternity is in what we are doing?

How do you prepare for your future?
This week what can we do start making the path straight… Pray for God’s grace to help us --- so that we move towards better tomorrow...
Challenge you to identify… the things that are impeding your progress and start making the path straight… Pray for God’s grace to help us --- so that we move towards better tomorrow...
You do what you need to do today that will affect your future… Challenge you to identify… the things that are impeding your progress and start making the path straight… Pray for God’s grace to help us --- so that we move towards better tomorrow...
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