Run the race that lies ahead of us!
This past Sunday at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church, we had the opportunity to have Dr. Danny Akin, the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary deliver the message. Dr. Akin’s sermon was titled “Let’s Run in God’s Race” coming from Hebrews 12:1-3. Dr. Akin shared throughout the sermon the life of Eric Liddell. Many of you may not be familiar with the name Eric Liddell. He was a runner and won the 400 meters at the 1924 Olympic Games. His life through running and religion are depicted in the Oscar winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
Liddell’s best event was the 100 m dash. In the same Olympics where he won the gold medal in the 400 m, he refused to race in a heat for the 100 m that occurred on a Sunday and was forced to withdraw from the race. Eric Liddell was the son of missionary parents, serving in China. It was there in China that Liddell would ultimately lose his life to an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 43. Eric Liddell not only ran in competition against the greatest athletes in the world, he also ran the race God placed before him.
You see, we do not have to be a world class athlete in order to run the race. The way we enter this race of the Christian life is by repenting of our sins and trusting Christ as Savior and Lord. There is no registration fee that we had to pay to get into the race. That fee was paid for us by Jesus’s death on the cross. He lived a sinless life and was crucified on the cross to pay the ultimate sacrifice in our place so that we might live. How you chose to then run the race is up to you, but let’s take a look at what Hebrews 12:1-3 has to say about running the race.
Dr. Akin provided three simple points to these three verses.
I. Find encouragement as you run. 12:1
II. Focus on the essentials as you run. 12:1
III. Follow the example as you run. 12:2-3
Finding encouragement as you run. What does this say to us? As we see, verse 1 starts with the word “therefore”. I had someone one time tell me that whenever you see the word therefore, you need to look at what comes before it to know what it is “there for”. Looking back at Hebrews 11 beginning in verse 32, we see that we are to be encouraged by the earthly and heavenly winners. Hebrews continues on into verse 1 of chapter 12 to say that we need to focus on the essentials and throw off everything that hinders us (i.e. the sin in our lives) and get down to the bare minimum and start running the race. As you run, who should you focus on? The answer is simply Jesus. As Hebrews 12:2 says, “fix your eyes on Jesus”. He started and finished the race we are all currently in. When you lose your focus, think about Jesus and what he did on the cross for you!
Eric Liddell’s short time on this earth made a tremendous impact in the lives of many. He may have been a sprinter, but he new the ultimate race is a marathon and continued to run the race in spreading the Gospel.
To listen to Dr. Akin’s sermon, please click on the button below.Sermon Audio