Tonight's sermon was based on the Hebrews 12:1-3:
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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Wow! I think the part that really got to me was the "throw off everything that hinders". Pastor said that this might be a relationship, a possession, a habit. Everything. Anything that hinders us in our relationship with Christ and running that course set out for us, is to be thrown off. He also pointed out that "throwing" something means to violently remove it – to take it from where it is and thrust it elsewhere.
This race is set before us to be run – and there are saints in glory (must be a southern expression – but I like it) surrounding us, cheering us on in this race. Pastor also pointed out that these saints will be seeing us the way Jesus does – because when they see Him they will be like Him.
I know some things that have been hindering my relationship with the Lord. They are things that wouldn't seem to be hindrances at first glance, but they are nonetheless – as time, energy and emotion that should be fully devoted to my relationship with Christ are being sucked up and absorbed here. I am going to throw off this hindrance – with everything I have I am going to remove the distraction from my life, and give the time, energy and emotion to my Lord.
Also – please pray for our Pastor and his family. His mother is battling end stage lung cancer and losing her battle. It seems as if she might be heading home. She was admitted to the hospital this evening – and I would appreciate any prayers on their behalf. Thank you in advance.