That is exactly what this BLOG is about . . . a message of GRACE for the RACE God has set before you. The writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
This race you have been called to run by God is not to be run alone. As Paul Tripp recently told our congregation, our race of faith is a community project. Make no mistake: the Bible knows nothing of the solitary saint. When you were saved by God’s grace, you were placed within the family of faith. My pastor, Tullian Tchividjian, likes to say that “God saved us individually, but He saved us TO community.”
You will notice in the passage from Hebrews above that the pronouns “we” and “us” are used 5 times, which lays great emphasis on the truth that your race is to be run in company with other believers. Here are just a sampling of the verses in Scripture which exhort us to stay in company with other believers:
- Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! . . . And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).
- Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13).
- And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25).
It is my prayer that the carefully considered words I write in each blog entry will be Christ-centered and Gospel-saturated and will prove to be a source of great encouragement to you as you run the race God has set before you.
By the grace of God, I am looking forward to seeing you at the finish line. And as you run this race with endurance, please be reminded that your performance NEVER establishes or maintains your relationship or right standing before God! Jesus has already secured your place in His kingdom. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, God sees Jesus when He looks upon you—just as if you had never sinned. Washed clean in the shed blood of the Lamb of God, there is nothing you can do that will separate you from the love of God (see Romans 8:38-39). Your best days do not cause God to love you more, and your worst days do not cause God to love you less.
Now if that doesn’t light a fire for faithful running in the race God set before you . . . your wood’s wet!
Purpose & Passion,
“Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24)