File

File

Minister’s Message: Finish the race

In the Bible, a letter was written to followers of Jesus who were discouraged

In the last couple of years, my oldest son has picked up a hobby of competing in endurance races. He is in regular training mode, and it seems like every three weeks he is competing in these disciplines: running, biking or swimming. Recently, a friend asked him to help him in a 30-mile ultramarathon race. The request was simple: go with me on the last 10-mile lap as you pace me and help me finish the race. While this was a physical race, this illustrates a greater spiritual example.

In the Bible, a letter was written to followers of Jesus who were discouraged. Instead of continually embracing the grace of God and disciplining their lives to actively follow him, they gravitated towards focusing on their works for God and relying on their power.

Does this sound familiar to many of us who commit to following God and then we get discouraged when the road gets tough, and we resort back to doing life on our own?

Hebrews 12:1 gives us a training plan on how to stay the course. It says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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.”

First, we can be encouraged by the faith of those who have gone before us. We can look at their examples and seek to emulate their actions of trust and dedication.

Next, we are admonished to “throw off” the sin that hinders and entangles us. For a follower of Jesus, sin discourages and separates us from the best God has for us. To accept God’s forgiveness and to live in his grace is the needed fuel to keep going.

Thirdly, the believer is told to run the race of life with perseverance. Perseverance means enduring through the tough things and keep going. Finally, in verse 2 we find the ultimate example to follow. The charge is given to fix “our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Not only does Jesus give us an example of how to live, but because of his death and resurrection he has made it possible for us to have victory in him. We can finish the race because Jesus has gone before us!

My son joined his friend for the last 10 miles of the ultramarathon and encouraged him to persevere to the finish line. We need encouragers like this in life and follow Jesus as the one who paved the way and gives us the ability “to not grow weary and lose heart.” (vs. 3).

Here are some questions to consider if you are seeking to finish the race right: Who are examples to follow? What in your life do you need to lay aside to stay strong? What can help you in your Christian life to persevere? How can you fix your eyes on Jesus today?

Frank Alioto pastors Roots Family Church and serves as a chaplain in our community.

More in Life

Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura and Stephen McKinley Henderson appear in “Civil War.” (Promotional photo courtesy A24)
Review: An unexpected battle for empathy in ‘Civil War’

Garland’s new film comments on political and personal divisions through a unique lens of conflict on American soil

Aurora Bukac is Alice in a rehearsal of Seward High School Theatre Collective’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” at Seward High School in Seward, Alaska, on Thursday, April 11, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seward in ‘Wonderland’

Seward High School Theatre Collective celebrates resurgence of theater on Eastern Kenai Peninsula

These poppy seed muffins are enhanced with the flavor of almonds. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
The smell of almonds and early mornings

These almond poppy seed muffins are quick and easy to make and great for early mornings

Bill Holt tells a fishing tale at Odie’s Deli on Friday, June 2, 2017 in Soldotna, Alaska. Holt was among the seven storytellers in the latest session of True Tales Told Live, an occasional storytelling event co-founded by Pegge Erkeneff, Jenny Nyman, and Kaitlin Vadla. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion file)
Storytelling series returns with tales about ‘making the most of it’

The next True Tales, Told Live will be held Friday, April 12 at The Goods Sustainable Grocery starting at 6:30 p.m.

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes they come back

This following historical incident resurfaced during dinner last week when we were matching, “Hey, do you remember when…?” gotchas

Art by Soldotna High School student Emily Day is displayed as part of the 33rd Annual Visual Feast at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday, April 3, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Creating art and artists

Exhibition showcases student talent and local art programs

The Canadian steamship Princess Victoria collided with an American vessel, the S.S. Admiral Sampson, which sank quickly in Puget Sound in August 1914. (Otto T. Frasch photo, copyright by David C. Chapman, “O.T. Frasch, Seattle” webpage)
Fresh Start: The Grönroos Family Story — Part 1

The Grönroos family settled just north of the mouth of the Anchor River

Meredith Harber pastors at Christ Lutheran on Easter morning, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Debbie Delker/courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Finding a common thread among celebrations

This year brought an amazing opportunity for folks around the world to experience the stories, traditions and messages of what their spirituality or religion has taught them

These simple lemon almond snowball cookies are mildly sweet and delicate. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Lemony sweet Easter treat

These lemon almond snowball cookies are mildly sweet and delicate

Most Read