Hebrews 12:1-2 "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, 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."
Many people seem to have a life verse that they choose to define their lives or to live their lives after and use as an encouragement to keep them going. If I had to choose one it would be this one. I call this verse my life verse. About maybe a year and a half ago I felt kind of stupid because a lot of people were talking about their life verse and telling why it is their life verse. I felt left out because I didn't really have one. A little while later I came across this verse. When you look and just gaze over it it is a good verse. And that is just what i saw was the basic surface of what it meant. Then further on through my walk with the Lord I began to understand and discover more things about it.
I will look at the whole first verse as one whole because I'm finding it hard to break it up into parts and using explanations for them without it going into what the next part of the verse says. So first of all because we have those witnesses, which it talks about in chapter 11 of Hebrews, we ought to look at them as a witness and an inspiration and see that they were able to endure many hardships and still serve the Lord. So taking that into consideration of our own lives we need to "set 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," I have raced go-karts for about 8 years and whether you choose to look at this as a running race or a motor vehicle race it doesn't matter they both make the point. When i raced go-karts there was a higher weight limit for the higher classes. For instance the minimum weight that we had to weigh in my pro stock class was 350 lbs. with the kart and the driver and all his gear as one weight. with me being a big chunky kid we exceeded the weight of that and weighed about 375-380. the little adults that would end up weighing less than that minimum weight would have to add led weight to the kart to make it that requirement weight. they had the best situation because they could add the weight freely and make their weight close to the minimum weight and therefore go faster than a heaver weighed kart and person because they didnt have as much weight bogging them down. so it's safe to say that in preaty much all instances of racing the less you weigh the easier it will move. same with a running race. I'm preaty sure but maybe not that a 170 pound guy could out run a 500 pound guy. but thats just what i see. so that is exactly what it is talking about when it says lay aside that weight and sin that besets you. people may not think that sin and burdens weigh you down in your walk with the Lord but they really do! as it was with racing it is with our walk with the Lord. things will go soo much easier and smoother when we dont have that weight holding us back. the easiest way to get rid of those weights is to take them off you and put them on the Lord. the Lord knows how to handle and deal with burdens and sin and when we just give them to Him it makes our load much lighter and causes us to focus on what we really need to focuz on and that is the race. I looked up the definition of beset and it is absolutely perfict for this ilistration that I'm using. the definition of beset is - To trouble persistently, or to attack on all sides. I really want to look at trouble persistently. that weight that i had extra never got lighter in the race. the only way for it to come off was for me to lose it! like if i had all that weight in lead weight instead of in my stomache it would be foolish of me to not take it out. it would slow me down if i left all that extra 20 pounds in the kart. so if I leave that weight in the kart and i race like that, that load wont get lighter if i just leave it in there. it will trouble me persistently and never ease up. but if i take it all off how can it any longer trouble me? so refering back to we just need to give it all to the Lord and focus on our run with Him! the next part of that verse is to run with patience the race that is set before us. races take time. races arent over in a split second. if we were to clasify our life and walk with the Lord in racing it would have to be an endurance and long distance race! I enjoy watching NASCAR! its absolutly awesome to watch! (GO JIMMIE JOHNSON) but even I get annoyed sometimes when they take 4 hours every single weekend to race! it gets tiring. i come home from church and watch the start fall asleep around lap 50 and then wake up and there is still 50 laps to go when i was passed out for 2 hours. so if you watch NASCAR you know that the races arent over just like that. it takes time and it takes a lot of patience on the drivers parts and on their teams parts! they have to be calm all through the race and just take it one lap at a time. as impossible as it seems the race does end though. it takes forever but it does end. and thats what i beleive it is talking about here in this verse is we have to run our race with the Lord with PATIENCE! i have heard of people and even I myslef get inpatient with how slow time is moving! it always seems looking ahead on something time doesnt move but looking back on something time flew! well when we get frustrated with where we are and how annoyed we get cuz its taking forever to get somewhere in our walk with the Lord its cuz we are not running the race with patience. it is as simple as that! it simple to see but hard to do a lot of the time. but thats is what is awesome about the Lord is He is willing to look past our short commings and mistakes and He is willing to help us and give us that patience we need to run this long distance race. now in verse two. keep in mind it is still talking about the witnesses that we have. and when i look at verse two i cant help but think that the Jesus Christ should be our ultimate inspiration and witness. as it says "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." we see that Jesus offerd up great pleasure and joy to come down to this sinful earth and be in the presance of sinFULL man and He endured the cross. kind of refering back to running with patience, He had to endure that cross. I gaurantee that He didnt want to suffer on that cross! when Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane He prayed that the if it was possible that God would let that cup pass from Him. but it was the will of God that He die for our sin. Jesus didnot find pleasure in dying on the cross! it was great suffering. but because we see that He endured that cross and forgot and layed aside that shame that could have besat Him and now He is in great glory on the right hand of the throne of God. we ought to see Jesus as our ultimate inspiration and strive to follow after His doing and attitude when we see what He had to endure! there is glory in the end no matter what happens now to those of us who know Christ as our personal Saviour. so i dont see any excuse of why we cant endure things, and set aside weights and sins, and why we cant just run that race that is set before us with patience! Do you?