Cross country runners follow a path that has been set out for them, across fields and through trees, for miles and miles. They’re aware of every footfall, to be sure they don’t trip on an exposed root or get tangled in a low-hanging tree branch. They’re exceptional athletes, and we admire them, but in the world of spiritual progress, we don’t want to be the person who gets tangled again and again. For the runner, it’s a low-hanging branch or a stone, but for followers of Christ, what often trips us up is sin and reverting to the person we were when Christ found us. When a cross country runner does get tripped up during the race, he gets up and keeps going, and we must continue this race as well. Christ ran for us. Now it’s our turn to run for Him. Let’s not allow ourselves to become entangled again but run with the freedom and grace Christ gives.
Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV
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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
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