Heb 12:1 - 2
1. 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,
2. 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.
Has anyone ever been in a large crowd watching a running race? What are the spectators doing? (Shouting encouragement, applauding brave athletes, etc.) There are people all along the way who help us to keep going.
But there are other people who watch a race, too. When we watch sports on TV, who is up there in the commentary box? Why are they chosen to comment on the race or the game? (Because they have done it themselves, they know what it’s like, they know how the athletes are feeling.)
What sort of things make it hard to live good lives? Just as some things make it hard for an athlete to run fast, some things can make it hard for us to run the race of life. Have you ever decided to be a better person? How long can you be very good before you find yourself doing something you know isn’t right? God’s book, the Bible, uses the word “sin” to describe what slows us down when we refuse to live the way God planned for us. The Bible also tells us it is only Jesus who can help us get rid of sin, so that we can run the best kind of race in life.
The race of life is a long-distance race. What sort of things in our lives can make us feel like giving up? We know we have people constantly encouraging us to keep going and not to quit. There are also other members of Jesus’ team who help us to keep going. They may be kind to us, pray with us, give us good advice. And of course there is Jesus Himself.
In the marathon race, runners often say they need to keep their eyes on the leaders, because it helps them to keep going. Jesus is not only our great coach, but He also runs in the race with us, helping us to keep going!
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
In our race of life, if Jesus is our coach, then He will start the race with us (author), stay with us, and welcome us at the end (perfecter). So every day we can talk to Him along the way, think of how faithful He is and thank Him for His encouragement. Remind children how they can join this team and so be a part of the race.