Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Reflection . . .
Life can be considered like a race, a journey that we are on toward a finish line that takes us into the physical presence of the Lord.
The path we are on is one of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the winner of the race and there are many examples of people who have had great faith, as seen in chapter 11 of Hebrews.
So, here in these two verses we have an encouragement, more of a command actually to strip off, throw off everything that holds us back or weighs us down and trips us up while on that journey of faith. It’s considered a race because it’s difficult, it requires training and good health, it requires being active and not passive, it requires focus and drive, and it requires risk, a risk of faith. Athletes do all kinds of things to prepare for the race. They train hard, get rid of excess weight, lift weights, improve their running times, practice focus, and the list could go on! They do whatever is needed to make sure they finish the best possible.
How do we run with endurance? We keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
Jesus is the champion because our faith is in him, initiated by him and perfected in him.