Pastor's Pen: Former runners cheering us on

By Layton Dutton

Associate Pastor of Youth

Calvary Baptist Church, Evart

I enjoy track and field meets. Of the track events, I most enjoy the ones where teammates pass the baton. The first runner may have to run a lap or two around the track, but then passes the baton to his teammate. The first runner then goes to the side and is done with his portion of the race.

But what does he do after that? He’s finished. Does he go off and watch the guys throwing shot? Does he head to the concession stand? No! The first runner stands on the side and cheers for his teammate. He is finished, but he wants those who come after him to do well. He wants them to outrun the competition and to finish strong. He yells to encourage them and looks forward to seeing them cross that finish line.

Hebrews tells us that we have former runners cheering us on. Hebrews 11 lists a few of them: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel. Many others serving our Lord have run their leg of the race and are now standing by coach God to cheer on the next runner. Their part of the race is over. It’s now time for another to run.

As each of them crossed the finish line they passed the baton. Eventually, that baton may have ended up in your hand. If you know Christ as Savior then that’s exactly where it is. You are in the race! Those who have gone on before are cheering for you to faithfully run without giving up and to look ahead to the prize of fulfilled salvation and life on the New Earth.

Hebrews 12 says, “… 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.”

The baton has been passed. Coach God the Father has provided all you need for the race. Captain Jesus has provided a way for you and has set an example to follow.

The Holy Spirit is providing the strength you need to endure. And all your teammates, former runners, are standing right there by your Coach and Father yelling out, “Run! Don’t give up! Endure!”

Don’t let them down.

Throw off everything that keeps you from running fast and any sin that trips you up and run.

Run like there is nothing else that matters.