“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before,” Hebrews 12:1.
As we look at the examples of faithful men in the Bible, we should be inspired to run the Christian race with ‘patience’ (endurance). Even though we sometimes meet opposition and worldly allurements tempt us to turn aside, we still need to press on. We will never suffer as much for our Lord as He did for us. His ultimate sacrifice on our behalf should move us to gratitude and fervent love for Him and for our fellow man. We do not deserve salvation, yet Romans 5:8 teaches: “God commends his love toward us, in that. While we yet sinned, Christ died for us.”
Is it not reasonable that we give our life to Him even as He gave His life for us? We will never face a martyr’s death, but we can yield our bodies a living sacrifice as Romans 12:1 calls us to do. Such a life will bring glory to God and will be separate from the world and its sinful lusts. It will include denying self, taking up the cross, and following Christ. It will mean forgetting the things that are behind, reaching forth to those things, which are before—and pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Satan will surely seek to discourage us, and false teachers will try to lead us astray. Jesus told us how to identify these deceivers: “You shall know them by their fruits,” Matthew 7:16. If we maintain a close relationship with our Lord and persevere to the end of the race, we will be rewarded as described in 2 Timothy 4:8: “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”