Monday, January 21, 2013

Preparing for a Race

Yesterday at church our Pastor, Kevin, was talking about preparing for the race. Now it is part of our series that we're currently in called, a marathon of faith. I love ever sermon, but this one really made me think. We started out with a couple of verses that are amazing. I'm going to share them with you.

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. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is helpful. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (HCSB)

They're great verses right? I thought so too. Kevin went on to tell us the difference between things that hinder us and sin that entangles us. Things that hinder us slow us down, and sin that entangles us trip us up. We know what sins we are in, as soon as we do them, God tells us to stop it. Things that hinder us might be harder to spot. 

Here are some things that hinder us. Noise: Social media & electronics. Non-essentials: hobbies, interests, and habits. Negativity: complaining when things aren't going our way, the worry we carry, the guilt we carry. Now Kevin said we didn't have to give up these things, the negativity we should, but the others aren't bad. They only hinder us when they become more important than our time with God. If we don't have time for God's plan for our life, but have plenty of time to watch TV and tweet, then there's a problem. Kevin brought a backpack and had bricks on stage. He started out putting a couple of bricks in backpack for the noise. Then he put the rest of them for the non-essentials and negativity. Imagine carrying a backpack of 30 lbs and running a race. Who would willingly want to do that? Probably no one. The truth is though, we all carry around extra weight, every day. 

So, in order to not carry around that extra weight, there are some things that we can do. Exercise self control (say no to hinders), be disciplined (say yes to God), and run with purpose (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). That really made me think about some of the things that I carry around, instead of giving to God. There are some past mistakes that seem to keep popping up in my head from time to time. I gave one to God this morning when it popped up, and will do the rest today. I also made a point to make more time for God this morning. I also pray in the morning and at night, and I do my daily devotions. Today though, I started one of my resolutions for this year, and started reading a chapter in the Bible. I ready Mark 1 this morning. It was a great chapter. While we're on the subject of reading the Bible, and studying it. Kevin taught me something cool a couple of weeks ago. Anytime a verse says "therefore" we should say, "therefore, what is that there there for?" A little confusing lol, but he said to back to the verses before it. It really made a lot of sense, and is pretty cool to actually understand the verse better.  

So, if you feel comfortable sharing, what are some things that hinder you? Oh, and if you want to listen to the sermon, our church does podcasts every week. You can go here, yesterday's sermon isn't up yet, but the first sermon in the series is. 

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