Day 40 - Running the Race to Win

Week 6 Small Group Video

Week 6 Memory Verse

"Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Mark 9:24

Devotion (Day 40)

"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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1,2)

Think of the amazing characters we've met in the past 40 days: Abraham. Moses. David. The woman who wept at Jesus' feet. The leper who returned to give thanks. Paul. James. John. And now the writer to the Hebrews brings it all together in a surprising crescendo: All the people, all those faith heroes you've been learning about... know about you. And are watching you. And cheering you on like Niner fans at a football game.The words he uses in this passage are Greek words also used for spectators at a sporting event. I believe he means what it sounds like: These people, now in God's presence, are in glory, rooting for you. And if the thought of those Bible heroes cheering for you isn't enough to get you going, think of who else joins them: I think of my dad. Maybe you think of one of your parents, or a sibling, a child, a friend. Cheering you on like crazy.I like to think that when they see you tempted, they yell, "DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!"When they see a great ministry opportunity in front of you, they are yelling, "CHARGE!"Someone told me he suspected his repeated failures must be annoying his heavenly fans. I see it differently. Ever been to a game where a player goes down, then after several minutes gets back up again? The loudest cheers of the day are usually for that player. Not for falling. But for getting back up.

So see the great cloud of witnesses to God's faithfulness that surround you. Be inspired by their examples. Hear their cheers. Most importantly, keep your eyes on your champion, the One who started and finished the race already, Jesus Christ! Set aside all the things that entangle you, all those petty doubts and fears. And run the race!

Runners, take your marks! Read Hebrews 12:1-34


Download the devotion for day 40

Download the small group lesson for week 6