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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Get Motivated!

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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

About 3 years ago, I attended my 10th Race for the Cure in my town. For the previous 9 years, I had participated in the race in honor of my grandmother and stepmother. But, in 2009, I participated in celebration of my own victory over breast cancer. As I think about a cloud of witnesses going before me, I think about that day. I walked the path, wearing my bright pink “Survivor” shirt, and a bright pink scarf tied on my head, to conceal my baldness. But, the moment with the most impact occurred as I stepped across the finish line. On each side, I saw dozens of pink shirted Survivors, who had hair and energy, and eyelashes, and each one was shouting, “You can do it, Lindsey! Way to go! You’ll beat this!” On earth, those women motivated me and reminded me that I wasn’t alone in fighting a terrible disease. They had fought before me, and won! And, I could, too.
That’s the point the Bible is making in this “cloud of witnesses” reference. We have a model of thousands who have gone before us in faith to show us the way. We aren’t alone.  

As the Christian stands at the starting line, the Bible says, not “Run” but, “Let US run.” Clearly, the race that we’re supposed to run was intended to be one of comradeship. We don’t like to feel alone, and God never intends for us to feel isolated.
The cloud of witnesses shows us what to do. They are examples of how to live faith-filled lives in the midst of great difficulty and tragedy. They’ve provided a pattern for us to follow, that we might, in turn, live with a focus on faith.
So the motivation is this: Your life counts to God and to those who are witnessing it. We, Believers, are God’s church, His family. And, Christ died so that we might be unified in His sacrifice.

Today, ladies, I want us to take courage, because so many other faithful racers have gone before us. You can be a witness to those who will come behind you. You can walk by faith on the path that the Lord has laid out for you. You can overcome. Hundreds and thousands have gone before you, and by faith, they’ve overcome. They’ve overcome under the law and under oppression. They’ve been in prison, infertile, poor, products of depravity, and inundated with sin. Others have walked through what you’re walking through, and they made it. And… so will you.

May God motivate you to press on!

Lindsey Pond

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