Stand Firm - Let Nothing Move You!
… 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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Personally I’m not much of a long distance athlete but as a youngster I remember the ‘buzz’ before the annual sports day ‘sprint’ races, the silence before the starting gun and the euphoria of not coming last! On occasions in longer distance races there were times where I just had to walk because I didn’t have the stamina to run all of it!
Clearly, the writer of the text above knew the games; runners would have removed clothing to ensure nothing would hinder the performance in the race. He makes a clear link between the athletes race and with the walk or ‘race’ of a Christian. In this way, his focus was on a resilient (“run with perseverance”) race; a conditioning of the Christian to perform at one’s
best. As with all scripture, it is a ‘mirror’ where our character is reflected in its light, the text encourages us to consider several believers’ questions:
Am I ‘fixed’ on the finish (Jesus)?
Am I persevering through the events and obstacles of life?
Am I hindered or ‘tripped up’ by the issues and sin of my humanness?
In the Christian race many of us will be running along nicely and others will be struggling at different times and walking; sometimes we run sometimes we walk and that is absolutely fine. The key of course is to run or walk with perseverance or resilience; to let nothing move you away from your focus on Jesus.
REFLECTION & STUDY
READ Hebrews 12:1-13 - picture the focus of the argument (v.1-3): the athletic contest, the cloud of witnesses (see chapter 11), the endurance of Christ (v. 3). Summarise this focus or element of the chapter.
Verses 4-13 have a focus on perseverance, hardship, suffering and persecution 1. How are we to see ourselves? (7) 2. Consider ‘discipline’ - how well do you react to it? (10) 3. “Make level paths for your feet” (13) - Is perseverance a one sided affair? In other words is it just about the person themselves or is there a bigger picture to it? 4. In the light of this thinking consider the questions posed above Am I ‘fixed’ on the finish (Jesus)? Am I persevering through the events and obstacles of life? Am I hindered or ‘tripped up’ by the issues and sin of my humanness?
1. Using the key phrase from the verse for the year, “let nothing move you” pray and ask
God what he sees in you. Are you easily ‘moved’ or distracted away from him.
2. Pray for those you know who face hardship and difficulty.
IDEAS FOR FAMILIES
This section provides a few ideas for families to engage with the ‘Week of Prayer’ material. It acts as a guide for you to develop with your family as appropriate.
TO TALK ABOUT: Being a Christian is a bit like being in a race!
Ask the children if they like races. Talk about what it is like to win or lose in a race. Tell the children that you are thinking about a different type of race today. Christians say they ‘run a race’;
Talk about the feelings of winning and losing a race and make the point that a Christian ‘runs a different type of race’ - the prize is Jesus and we are not running against each other only ourselves!
Read Hebrews 12:1-3 and talk about the word perseverance or resilience. What does it mean?
ACTIVITY (Optional): Using the theme of races why not act out a few of them! On your marks.... Remind the children that the race we run as Christians is very different.
TO THINK ABOUT: Remind the children that all sort of accidents can take place in a race. Somethings are our fault other things are not our fault. Let’s encourage each other to: stand firm and let nothing move you!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank you for your help each day in the race that we
run. May nothing move me from doing things in your way! AMEN
PBC Week of Prayer 2020
Thursday 2nd - Wednesday 8th January 2020