Hebrews 12; Exodus 16:1-17:16; Proverbs 7:6-27
Serious swimmers are interesting folks. Male swimmers will shave practically all of their body hair before a big meet in the hopes of gaining thousandths of seconds by streamlining their bodies and cutting down on any resistance in the water. That’s the attitude we see in Hebrews 12. “So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter.” (Hebrews 12:1-2a) Olympic runners at the time would shed their clothes so that they wouldn’t hinder their race. Here the command is to live a life where our sins don’t hinder us and our ability to be the people God has called us to be. It’s easy to become lackadaisical about sin. We start categorizing them by thinking of them as terrible, bad or perhaps acceptable. Sin is separation from God. Those bad things we do are signs of our estrangement from God; signs that we believe our own ways and desires are more important than God’s. We need to get rid of sin like a swimmer gets rid of body hair. Even the smallest outward sign of our estrangement from must be removed. Our ultimate goal is our relationship with Jesus – the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. The question shouldn’t be, “how much can we sin and still have God love us?” The question should be, “how can my relationship with God improve?” Throw off the baggage and run the race.
Dear Lord, as I live this life You have set before me, give me the strength to avoid the problems that sin causes. Let my relationship with You be so strong that I don’t stray away from Your presence. Let my life reflect Your glory in all I say and do.