Running On

Sunday, March 6, 2022
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Listen while you read: "When Morning Gilds The Skies"1 (Lyrics)

Hebrews 12:1-2 – 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. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)

When I was in high school, I used to enjoy long-distance running. Going around the track twenty times or more gave me moments of solitude and clarity that enabled me to find solutions to some of the problems and issues that I faced as a teenager. Most of the things that burdened me were brought on by my foolish and selfish ways. Running around the sports field gave me the time that I needed to sort things out in my heart and head. It was an effective way of facing my faults and thinking through my thoughts. Usually, when it came to running around the track the last time, I felt much better than I did when I started.

The older that I get, the more that I realize that life itself is a long-distance run. Through the years, I've made more mistakes than I can possibly remember, and I am burdened with a number of regrets. I cannot change the past, nor the route that I have followed, but my faith has endured, so that when I look ahead and think about what's left of this lifetime run, I see Jesus at the finish line. Knowing that He is there encourages me to throw off those past burdens which hinder me and to fix my eyes on Him. That's when I realize that this whole journey through life has but one purpose: to run to Jesus, the perfecter of my faith, and to be welcomed by Him.

I don't know the problems that you are facing or how many burdens that you're carrying in your heart; I don't know the fears that you have or the regrets that weigh you down, but this I do know: you can throw them all off today and lay them down before Jesus. Then you can continue to run this beautiful race that we call life, knowing that at the end, Jesus will still be there, waiting for you.

Question: What is burdening me right now and hindering my enjoyment of life? Am I ready to hand it over to Jesus and let Him cheer me on?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and fully understand our weaknesses and worries, anxieties and cares. Help us to lay them down before You, as we fix our eyes upon You. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.

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About the author:

John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Good words for reflection, John.

    I hear you, John and you writing your inspiration helps me today. Thanks for sharing it.

    Good morning, John. What a beautiful message of encouragement and truth!
    (QC, CANADA)

    Thank you, John, for this. As Christians we still have challenges releasing the guilt. Reminders like this help us to look to Jesus and believe that He does want us to ‘run’ to Him and let the past sins go.

    We want to thank you for your devotional this morning. We appreciate them and speak to us.

    Thank you, John that was a very encouraging message. After reading it, the song, “Abide With Me,” came into my mind to sooth my spirit.
    Thank you for reminding us to put our burdens down and rest in Jesus’ love.
    (On, Can.)

    Thank you, John. As always so helpful and encouraging. I’ve been missing your devotionals and hope you and your family are doing well. The pandemic has been such a trial of faith during a time of enforced solitude, but I know that Jesus has walked with me and has travelled the path before us.

    Many thanks John for this special devotional of encouragement as well as reassurance that whatever comes our way, our Saviour is there to guide us through. Yes, there are times when we might feel burdened down but when we take the time to prayerfully talk with Jesus we can feel a real uplift and sense of relief. Faith and reverence important in our daily lives for sure. Blessings for the writings you do.

    I always know I’m going to have something fruitful from you.
    When he was 18, my son caused me to head toward a nervous breakdown which is a real illness.
    Let me tell, I learned so much from that, am so sure the Lord let me go through that as I have been able to share and ready to help others. In very recent years (in my 90’s) when I said all I need to say, I end saying, NOW, LET IT GO!
    We just have to be ready when the Lord needs to help someone. I always say that I don’t need to know who is receiving my “help,” just know that the Lord is always with me to lead the way. I’m with my daughter and staying well and greatly blessed.

    Dear John,
    I am not a runner, but I do walk to help me clear my mind. I have always been a walker and when I am upset or confused, it takes my mind off myself, and I see all the beauty around me or chat with someone along the way and I do come back calmer and my brain has sorted things out for me on its own. Of course, God is there doing his part. I do understand that. He showed me the way to calm myself over the years.
    I never sort of formed the image of walking towards Jesus as one’s purpose, but I truly like that thought.
    A powerful devotional for everyone. As always you are able to clearly state your point for us all to learn. May you continue your “run to Jesus” and continue to inspire the faith of others. Blessings.

    I needed this reflection, thanks,
    (BC, CA)

    Yes, John, yes! Your devotional so encourages me. Thank you for sharing this! Blessings.

    Hello John:
    Your words are always encouraging and uplifting. Thank you for today’s beautiful message.

    Wow, John! What a wonderful, simple, and clear challenge for us all today – both believers and unbelievers. I may pass it on to my second-language English students, with whom I have a weekly Zoom class, which includes a Bible reading.
    Thanks a lot, and God bless you, John!

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