Run Your Race

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. Hebrews 12:1 NKJV

1. LAY IT DOWN. Every day, minute by minute, we can cast our cares on the Lord. If stuff has happened to discourage you, then enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and watch Him lift your heart and head as you praise Him and lay down every weight.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

2. STEP OUT. An amazing path lies before each of us and we are called to step out of the confines of fear and into a life of faith and love. Some of the great achievements that you and I are called to are rooted in a simple life of obedience and faith, keeping an attitude of thankfulness, and being quick to repent.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

3. RUN WITH ENDURANCE. We are made to be durable, to run this race, not just for a short time, but to bring glory and honor to Jesus our whole lives. Study and meditate on the Scriptures to get an awareness of your destiny and purpose so that you don’t miss out on a life of great fruitfulness.

Press On!
Pastor Jeff

DAILY CONFESSION:
You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts my head (Psalm 3:3). I keep my confidence in God, which has great reward (Hebrews 10:35). I walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

en•dur•ance, noun
The ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.

Copyright © 2019 St. Louis Family Church. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted or distributed in any form without prior written permission of St. Louis Family Church. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. “Endurance.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

Nine Results of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in Your Life

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

1. LOVE. Loving God and connecting with Him is the best part of life. God is love and His Spirit who dwells within us helps us to respond to others by walking in His love.

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Walking with God

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

1. FIND REST. God has called us to a life that is different than it was before we knew Him—to a life of joy and abundance (John 10:10). If you’ve been distracted and things have gotten bland spiritually or you’ve been so filled with anxiety that you can’t rest, be assured that God wants to bring you into a place of focus and peace.

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Three Ways Praise Brings Peace

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1, 4

1. PRAISE SETS OUR MINDS ON GOD. Your thought life doesn’t have to be worn down by a bunch of fear. God said that He would keep us in perfect peace when our minds are set on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Lifting our voices in praise to God prevents introspective self-loathing. He has designed praise and worship as powerful tools to help us obtain breakthrough and freedom.

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Jesus: A Sure Foundation

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

1. STRENGTH. Jesus didn’t come to complicate things – He came to set people free and remove their heavy burdens. He wants to be the strength of your life. If you’ve been fatigued and you have grown weary, He wants you to get rest and power from Him.

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You Can Depend on God

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

1. WHEN WE ARE THE NEEDIEST, GOD IS THE MOST SUFFICIENT. When the Apostle Paul was suffering from constant persecution and recurring battles, God told him: “My grace is sufficient.” That’s what God is telling us. Whatever we are going through, He is an ever-present help (Psalm 46:1). That’s why we go to and study the promises of God found in the Bible. Then, when we pray for things, we can pray in faith because in Jesus, all of God’s promises are yes and available to us (2 Corinthians 1:20).

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Our Refuge & Strength

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him. Nahum 1:7

1. GOD IS GOOD. Circumstances come and go, feelings come and go, but God’s Word is true and His nature never changes—He is abidingly faithful. When you realize how good God is and how much He cares about every detail of your life, fear and worry can no longer dominate you. God will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28), and He will perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).

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Your Identity Is Safe With God

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10

1. ORIGIN. In the beginning was God. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by an intelligent designer who wants to reveal mysteries to you. But the devil is after your identity. He will ruthlessly try to obscure who you are in Jesus, where you come from, what you have, and what you can do.

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Strength for the Course

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27

1. GOD EMPOWERS YOU. The same Jesus who commissioned the twelve disciples and gave them authority over the devil and power to heal diseases is still calling and commissioning Christians today. With God, there is no duty too perilous, no responsibility too great, no difficulty insurmountable. He will give you strength according to the task at hand.

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HAPPY EASTER!

“REAL HELP COMES FROM GOD.” Psalm 3:8

1. HOPE. God cares deeply for you, and from start to finish He has a plan for your life. God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us. Those of us who have been stuck in depression or caught up in bad situations realize how great it is to be rescued and forgiven. Open your heart to Jesus today and let Him fill you with hope and anticipation for what He has ahead!

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Three Ways To Build Your Hope

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

1. REPLACE WORRY WITH TRUST. We are called to be a hopeful people and walk in constant expectation of impending good. This isn’t an artificial optimism; we know life is rough and this is a fallen world. Real hope is a biblically-based understanding of who God is and what He has promised. God is a present help right now – for you. (Psalm 46:1). The Eternal God watches over His Word to perform it – for you (Jeremiah 1:12).

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How to Abide in Hope

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:1-4

1. REMEMBER YOUR HELPER. When we face challenges, we can choose to hide out, bury our heads in the sand and get depressed, or we can turn to the promise-keeping God. Our help doesn’t come from our own strength or creative ideas – it comes from the Lord. Look to Him! Abide in His Word. Not one of His promises has ever failed.

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Three Steps to Strength & Hope

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

1. CONQUER FEAR. Real help comes from God. Whatever you’re facing, God will help you. He knew fear is something we humans would have to deal with, so He tells us repeatedly throughout Scripture, “Do not fear,” and He gives us reasons why we don’t have to be afraid. We can trust Him with our relationships, with our thought life, with decisions we have to make, and with our health.

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A Steadfast Hope

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. Hebrews 6:19a

1. STAY IN THE FIGHT. Paul the Apostle wrote to Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12a). This is different from the baseless optimism of worldly hope because it is anchored in the abiding truth of God’s promises. When we encounter challenges, we can face them with rugged determination to never quit, because when God calls us He equips us with all we need to fight and win.

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Three Ways God Wants to Establish You

And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel. 1 Chronicles 14:2

1. ESTABLISHED WITH PURPOSE. King David realized that God was doing something distinctive in his life and in the lives of the people and the country. This realization lifted David’s eyes off the difficulties he faced and gave him a new perspective. As we understand more about who God is and what He’s assigned each one of us to do, we can lift our heads, throw our shoulders back, and move forward in purpose.

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How to Overcome

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

1. KEEP HANGING OUT WITH GOD. We become like who we hang out with. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). How can we imitate God unless we spend time with Him? This week, instead of watching the news as much, or spending hours on social media, step away and take in some good news by fellowshipping with God.

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Love Never Fails

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39

1. LOVE GOD. We can love because God first loved us. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, His love changes us completely. If you feel distracted or dull or if you have drifted, you can step into closeness with God again. Love grows when you spend time with Him. Take some time to turn off the phone, mute the TV, and say simply, “God, here I am. Forgive me for getting distracted. I seek You first. I trust You, Lord.”

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How to Build for Eternity

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

1. USE THE RIGHT COMPONENTS. Concrete is a durable building material composed of three things: rock, cement, and water. The Romans began construction on the Pantheon dome in 27 AD, and this concrete marvel still stands over 2,000 years later! Just as three elements come together to form concrete, so FAITH (belief and trust in God), HOPE (confident expectation of what God has promised), and LOVE (valuing and forgiving others because God first loved us) mix together to create the lasting substance of a Christian life.

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Three Ways to Get Tenacious in Hope

Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

1. REMEMBER YOU WERE RESCUED. The Bible describes the pre-salvation position as “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But the emptiness of a fallen world has forever changed because of Jesus. He left the splendor of heaven and came on a rescue mission for us. He died to forgive our sins and heal our diseases (1 Peter 2:24).

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Three Steps to Renew Your Hope

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

1. TRUST GOD’S PROMISES. The prophet Jeremiah wrote these words almost 500 years before Jesus came to earth; yet we still have a right to this promise of hope. The same God who declared a future and a hope to an exiled people is our God today. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). And because Jesus died for the sins of all humanity, we have a new covenant “inaugurated under better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). How much more are we now called to hope.

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Hold Fast!

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23-24

1. BE PERSISTENT. In your pursuit of Jesus be persistent. If you are going to be stubborn about anything, then get adamant about your love for God. A lot of lesser things will vie for your attention. But lift up your eyes—the only place where you will get refreshing is in the presence of the Lord. Resolve to overcome drifting, and become really passionate about returning to your first love of Jesus (Revelation 2:1-5).

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Breakthrough in Hope

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

1. KNOW YOUR HOPE. Our beliefs fuel our destiny. Sometimes discouragement can settle in when we feel that life isn’t what it’s supposed to be. But when you shift your focus to Jesus and what He has done, you can get back to biblical hope. We fix our hope on the living God.

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Abounding in Hope

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

1. REDEMPTIVE HOPE. When something we are hoping for is delayed, our hearts can get discouraged (Proverbs 13:12). But even then, “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). We base our hope not on the shifting sands of man but on the eternal Word of God. And we know that what He promises, He will do.

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Hope for the New Year

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

1. ANCHORING TRUTH. Hearing the Word produces the ability to face the future with hope. What does the Bible say? Its anchoring thoughts are why we keep going back to the amazing stories of the Old and New Testaments. It builds in us an unshakeable confidence in God so that we can face off with the world’s challenges.

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Growing in God’s Abundant Grace

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. 2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP

1. SOW TO THE SPIRIT. Grace is God’s willingness to work on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it. The Bible says: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b). But that’s not an excuse to sin. Instead we can fight the devil, crucify our flesh, and not conform to the world. How? By meditating on and investing in the things of God (Galatians 6:8).

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