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. Hebrews 12:1 NIV
This past Sunday we attended a church other than our home church–something we rarely do. But we woke up and decided to visit our neighbors at their church, The Living Room. After we heard Pastor Monte Ingersoll speak, we knew it was no accident. We needed to hear that sermon!
It was such a great, inspirational sermon that I just have to share my notes with you as we head into 2014! The sermon was entitled, A New Way In A New Year. The main text was our featured verse. “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.” Hebrews 12:1
(TANGENT: Every time I hear that verse, my mind goes back to the first time my husband and I went backpacking, or should I say the first time we didn’t go backpacking. We were newly married and a friend of ours who owned some property near Sequoia National Park welcomed us to backpack on his land. The only backpacking gear we had was an old backpack and frame which happened to be leftover from a summer-school backpacking trip my husband took when he was 12! We parked our car on a logging road and crammed the frame full of gear that was more appropriate for an RV! With all the comforts of home, we set out on our great adventure. At about 100 feet, my husband began to perspire profusely. At two hundred feet, unable to go any further, he announced our arrival at the perfect camping spot. It was hilarious and we still laugh about it whenever we go camping. Back then we had a choice. We could either enjoy the wild or enjoy all the comforts we brought along–but we couldn’t do both. We chose the comforts and made camp right by the road. So much for enjoying the wild frontier!)
Today, as we start another new year, we have a similar choice. We can lay aside anything that will hinder us in 2014 or we can proceed encumbered with things that will prevent us from running the race set before us.
Three Hindrances To Lay Aside
Let Go of Your Worries.
Worries exhaust your energy, (Psalm 55:2b) exaggerate the problem, ( Psalm 25:17) and waste your time. (Matthew 6:27) They are emotional garbage that weigh you down. (Proverbs 12:25)
What worries from 2013 do you need to let go of?
How do you get rid of your worries? PRAY! (Philippians 4:6-7)
Let Go of Your Wounds.
You may have been undervalued, misunderstood, judged, overlooked, lonely, rejected, abused or betrayed. These emotional wounds keep you living in the past. (Psalm 109:22b) They also cause resentment which continually reopens wounds and prevents healing. We can’t get on with the future if we continue to live in the past.
What wounds from 2013 do you need to let go of?
How do you get rid of your wounds? FORGIVE! (Ephesians 4:31-32; Mark 11:25)
Let Go of Your Wrongs.
Don’t drag a pile of guilt with you into 2014! Our sin disconnects us from God (Isaiah 59:2) but He has made a way for us to be free and forgiven. (Romans 8:1-2)
What wrongs from 2013 do you need to let go of?
How do you get rid of your Wrongs? CONFESSION! (1 John 1:9)
Now go run your race! Happy New year from Better Off Read Ministries! LH