There’s this scripture I love so much and Message translation always blows my mind. It goes: “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.” (Hebrews 12:1 MSG)
Now this is a very popular scripture, one that most of you can quote *well the King James Version* without developing fresh wrinkles, but something about the message translation puts this and many other scriptures in greater perspective. Ironic cause the first time I read the Message Translation, I thought it was some kind of Joke (Parable of the Talents) *Thank God for His Spirit, truly the letter kills but the Spirit gives life*.
I’m sure when you picture Olympic races, you don’t visualize McDonald’s residents *come on you know them, you probably even have some in your family* or amateurs for that matter, ps people like me who can only run to save our lives, not for fame and glory. But the truth is that, that is what most Christians are, we carry around Spiritual fat (Unnecessary weight as NIV calls it: Malice, Strife, Unforgiveness, Anger, Wrath, Envy, Jealousy, Grief and what not). Kind of like that
The one that catches my attention the most is the part of Parasitic sin, If you haven’t realized this by now, then know this Sin has and will always be nothing more than a Distraction. Sin distracts us from the things that truly matter, God and His Love for Us, His Children and makes us to see the things that don’t matter, our shortcomings, and before we know it, we expose ourselves to even more spiritual fat (we start comparing ourselves with others).
If you’ve ever ran a race or played temple run at the very least, you realize that what makes a race worthwhile is the goal at the end of the race. Be it the medals or the joy of beating someone’s highscore seeing as Temple Run really doesn’t have an end. But as Christians, what do we have to look up to? A life time of Mary-Amaka skirts and a boring black and white kind of Life, filled with trials, tribulations, ridicule, of constant judgement and scrutiny of our fellow believers. No!!!
Verse 2 of the Hebrews 12 tells us exactly where to fix our eyes. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. Jesus came not just to set us free, He also showed us how to live.
Like every race, the Christian race is not easy, that is why Christ said “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11: 28-30 MSG)
Christ came and took all our excess weight upon himself and He placed on us the Yoke of Grace. Grace to live above sin and distractions. Grace that enables us to be more than we could ever be, Grace that strengthens us when it seems that we can’t go on any longer make it through on our own. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)