Something For Your Spirit

     Elder Thomas W. Burgess


                                                   September 2023

                                                      Born To Win

                                                Hebrews 12:1&2 KJV 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. 2...Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Athletically, we are in the season where contestants from all over the world gather for the ultimate race to see who is the fastest runner, best at long jumps, swimming or the best in their specific field. Some will be in individual races others will be part of the team but the ultimste goal is 1st place. The writer for the book of Hebrews uses a race as his way for us to understand his point. Letting you and I know that in our life, we too can relate to the "race" because of our competitive nature our goal is to finish first and be the "best" at whatever life has for us.

The great cloud of witnesses are found in chapter 11, they are in the "Biblical Hall of Fame" for the faith each one displayed when they were faced with the choice they would make. Each one stepped out on "Faith" because the Bible tells us without it (faith) it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6 KJV

Hebrews 11:4 KJV...By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Verse 5...By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death because He pleased God. Verse 7...By faith, Noah prepared an ark to save his house. Verse 8. Abraham obeyed the voice that told him to leave his home country and go to a place I will show you.  Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph displayed their faith stepping out on nothing but a voice and were Blessed. Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of blood so the death angel would not kill their firstborn. By faith, Moses and The Children of Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground but the Egyptians drowned because God removed the wheels from their chariots. And Rahab, a woman with a questionable background was Blessed in this "Hall of Fame" because she hid God's anointed ones from the enemy.

Compassed in Hebrews 12:1 means, surrounded, encircled with this gread cloud of witnesses from the Hall of Faith...let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily beset us. Let us get rid of those things that keep us from growing closer to God. To compete in this race, we don't need anger weighing us down, we don't need lying weighing us down, we don't need envy weighing us down, we don't need jealousy weighing us down, we don't need racism weighing us down...these are sins which so easily mess us up. We were born to win in this race called life.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13-14 KJV...Brethern, I count not myself to have apprehended" but this one thing I do, forgetting thosethings which are behind, (whether they are sins that might overwhelm or good things that might cause us to rest on our accomplishments) and reaching forth unto those things which are before. 14...I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 12:1B...let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us.

Our race is not a sprint, ours is endurance...slow and steady. We have The Word to nourish us when we get weak, We have prayer partners to pray for us during the race that we draw more strength from. Because we are born to win this race. We may stumble, we may fall but we will win.

Derek Redmond was favored to medal in the 400m race at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. 250 meters from the finish, he tore his hamstring. Against all odds, he got back to his feet and began to hobble toward the finish line. His Dad came down to the gate and literally fought security to get to the track. Why? To help his son finish. This story is a beautiful illustration of Hebrews 12.1-2 and running with endurance, but also of the great love that our heavenly father has for us. He left the glory and splendor of heaven to come down and run the race with us...even carry us if necessary because in this race called life we were born to win.

Thank You Father for Your Word.