Posted by: mikenicholsblog | May 14, 2017

commit that sin

Marathons are a grueling test. The race course is mapped out. Some runners excel and others just try to endure. In thinking about marathons, there is probably none greater or more popular (with the public and runners alike) than the Boston Marathon. A bit of memory jogging may take you back to the 1980 Marathon won by Rosie Ruiz, who lost her title for cheating. Obviously, the 26.2 mile journey was to be run completely. But as was reported in the Boston Globe, Rosie was not seen on the course until she sneaked in near the end! Just as a marathoner should run the races marked out for them, believers in Christ have been given a course. Our course was marked out by the Father, and He will give us the capacity to endure any and all hard turns and heartbreak hills. A look at Hebrews 12:1 set in the context of a race, gives us our training instructions.

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.

Ancient runners would have easily understood running lean. Excess weight or too much clothing would have slowed them down. On our spiritual marathon, excesses that hinder should be removed. Be honest with yourself and with God! As a continuation of our focus on throwing off “everything that hinders,” there is a critical “and” that follows. The Word continues and completes the throwing off instructions with:

and the sin that so easily entangles.

There is no mention of a specific sin, and the reference could be sin in general. However, the language could refer to a particular sin … a more personal sin. Maybe specific, particular, and personal to you! Either way, the Word is clear, get rid of it!

Every person reading these words can relate to a personally entangling sin. Picture yourself running a race and suddenly your feet get caught up in something. Even if you don’t fall, your pace is definitely interrupted or slowed. When I (or you) let a particular sin continue to entangle my life, spiritual pace is slowed. Sometimes there is a fall. Sometimes it’s a hard one. Right now you can commit that sin to the forgiving grace of God, and begin running with a renewed pace. From my study, it looks as if one particular sin is referenced, and it appears to be that of unbelief. Doubting God and living by faith contradict each other. Although as pilgrims on a journey we can easily move from faith to doubt, choose to trust His marked-out race for you, His Word, and ultimately, Him.

Hebrews 12:1 also uses the word perseverance.  You have endured some hard turns already, and there will be new turns and more races to be run. Running lean with renewed vigor and perseverance will be a tremendous asset as you continue and someday finish your race. Knowing that the Father has set “the race marked out for us” gives us the confidence in His purpose for us. How will you finish?

Running lean, minus the excess weight of hindrances and sinful entanglements,
equals God being glorified.

And think about the finish line … Heaven!

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