Running the Race—For the Joy Set Before Us

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 12/08/2019

Foundation Scriptures:
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. Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV

1. Jesus is Our Example.
a. He humbled Himself.
b. Came to earth.
c. Took on human flesh.
d. John 1:14a KJV — And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…
e. Tempted in every way—yet without sin.
f. Hebrews 4:15 KJV — For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
g. Went to the Cross for us.
h. Philippians 2:5-8 KJV — Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
i. Paid the price.
j. 1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV — For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 
k. Drank the bitter cup.
l. Matthew 26:39 KJV — And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
m. Matthew 26:42 KJV — He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
n. Is now seated at the right hand of the Father, praying for us. 
o. Romans 8:34 KJV — Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

2. To Him Who Overcomes.
a. Revelation 3:21 NKJV — To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
b. Let us lay aside the weight. 
c. Hebrews 12:1 ERV — We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.
d. What holds you back and slows you down?
e. Hidden things of the heart.
f. 1 Corinthians 4:5 AMPC — So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.
g. Pride. Unforgiveness. Bitterness. Anger. Lust. 
h. Gossip.
i. Covetousness and greed. 
j. Addictions: drugs; alcohol; food.
k. Sins of the flesh.  

3. Lay Aside the Weight.
a. As we close out 2019, it is time to lay aside the weight, and to run the race in 2020.
b. Set (fix) your eyes on Jesus and things that are eternal.
c. Everything else will pass away.
d. Lay up treasures in heaven.
e. What will count 100 years from today?
f. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 K.S. Wuest — Do you not know that those who are running in a race are indeed all running, but one receives the victor’s award? Be running in such a manner as the one who won the race, in order that you may obtain the victor’s award. Everyone who participates in the athletic games exercises constant self-control in all things, those, to be sure, in order that they may receive a perishable victor’s garland of wild olive leaves to be worn as a crown of victory, but as for us [we engage in Christian service, exercising constant self-control to obtain] a victor’s garland which is imperishable.

4. Run the Race to Win.
a. For the joy set before you.
b. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV — I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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 unto all them also that love his appearing. 
c. Live for eternity.
d. Heaven, Jesus. 
e. 1 Corinthians 3:8b KJV — …and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
f. Colossians 3:23-24 KJV — And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.