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1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 

I ran track and cross country all the way through high school.  There are some great lessons to be learned from running.   

Run as light as possible.  Even when it was cold in North Carolina, we would race in shorts and a tank top.  Weight slows you down.  The writer is encouraging putting aside sins and anything else that would slow us down spiritually.   

Run with endurance.  Life is not a sprint; it's a distance race.  To win it, we have to stay in it.  And that requires running when you don't necessarily feel like it.   

Run the race set before us.  I don't have to run your race; you are not having to run mine.  So we are not comparing or competing with one another.  We are responsible for running our race.  What our Lord has called us to do.   

We have to look at the right things when we run.  When I was in cross country, you couldn't keep looking behind you.  You have to keep your head up and be looking for where you want to go.  In our spiritual race, we look to Jesus.  He is our example of how to run.  And He is our reason for running.   

In fact, if we don't keep our focus on Him, we can get discouraged.  Jesus faced incredible odds and opposition.  He was beaten and crucified and made to look like the worst kind of loser.  But He did not let that stop Him.  He had a goal, the joy set before Him.  That joy was the salvation and freedom for mankind.  So He endured intense hostility but pushed through that and sat down at the right hand of God.  What a hero!  What an example!  What motivation for us to keep running. 



This entire devotional is an application.  The author of Hebrews, inspired by the Spirit of God, is showing us what to do. Run light.  Run with the right focus.  Run for the right reason and stay in your race.  The finish line is closer than you think.   



Equip me, Lord, to run my race.  Show me what to lay aside and where my lane is.  Thank You, Jesus, for Your example.  You are my hero.