As a happy-go-lucky eight year old, having attended a children’s Holiday Bible Club, I filled in a little card which declared that I had asked Jesus to be my Saviour and Friend. With His help, I would live the rest of my life loving and serving Him.
That young girl could never have imagined what grace, love and forgiveness her Saviour would lavish on her the following six decades, as she continued on her Christian journey.
The most vivid image the Bible uses to describe the Christian life is that of a marathon race; from the day of salvation when we were justified once and for all - to the ultimate finishing line, our glorification when we will be with Christ for all of eternity. Along the way, the great ‘heroes’ of faith cheer us on to the Victor’s prize.
"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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." - Hebrews 12:1-2
As Jonty has so wonderfully reminded us these past days in Globe Daily, these witnesses are not so much watching us, but rather speaking to us. They are testifying to God’s faithfulness and forgiveness, spurring us on to the end.
As one who has run the Christian race longer than any of you at The Globe Church, I want to add my voice of encouragement and exhortation to each of you. Allow me to spur you on to continue to 'throw off everything that hinders’, those fears, doubts and sins, as you ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’. We know that along the path marked out for us, Satan will do all in his power to knock us off course. Every season of life will have its own distractions, doubts and shattered dreams and we need to constantly look to Christ to replace the lies Satan relentlessly whispers in our ear.
As I look out on all the potential represented in The Globe Church, my constant longing is for each of you to finish strong. To end your days trusting Jesus, confident that He, being the object of your faith, has kept you to the end.
Even with the restrictions that the lock-down has enforced on us all, let me share some things that will help you ‘run with perseverance’ ….
- A love of God’s written and preached word will be one of the main means of keeping us on track. Make Sundays the highlight of your week, as we encourage one another in praise and prayer and dig deep into God’s word. Spend time alone in God’s word. Let His word dwell in you by memorising Scripture so that you can consistently fight Satan’s lies.
- Prayer is vital if we are to stay on track, and so often we need one another to help us in this. Even with the limitations of Zoom, why not commit yourself to joining to pray together every week as Globe church family meet together?
- London is not an easy place to build deep friendships, but Focus Groups are an ideal setting to learn how to be open and vulnerable with one another. And why not ask God to give you just one person who you could regularly meet up with, as you practice the One Anothers of the Bible in an accountable and deep friendship?
Of course, ultimately it is God who keeps us to the end, not our own performance, as we rest in the finished work of Christ on the cross. But let’s be those who stay connected to Christ and one another by any means we can, particularly in this time of separation. Let’s be those who encourage one another to stay the course, knowing that our motivation will always be because of the person of our lovely Saviour. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross" - Hebrews 12:2