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The Secret of Christian Endurance

David Shin

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Hebrews 12:1-2

Have you ever been so discouraged that you felt like quitting in your Christian experience? Listen as Pastor David shares this study on enduring through tough times. 

Presenter

David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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Recorded

  • July 16, 2016
    11:30 AM
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The Bruce Chapter 12 we were given insight into the mind of the Apostle Paul. Or 12 versus 12 and 3 therefore. We also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight in sin which so easily ensnares us. And let us run with insurance the race that is up before us looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself lest you become weary and discouraged and your souls like to spend a little bit of time in this passage and it begins in after 12 verse one with the words therefore now whenever you're studying the Bible and you come across the word therefore the word therefore is a concluding statement or concluding word you have the premise and then you have therefore one of my favorite subjects in school was geometry I didn't care so much for algebra but I love geometry and I remember doing these proofs some of you may remember that from from your high school days and we would write down these proofs then we would list the reasons the premise and then we would come down to the end and there were those 3 dots there for a conclusion. And here you have the word therefore the word therefore this is Paul's punch line this is a point this is the application of what he's trying to convey to the Hebrews. He says therefore So we have to go to what is before the word therefore the chapter before Hebrews 12 his Hebrews chapter 11. There were no chapter divisions These are here for convenience I'm not going to read through the entirety of Hebrews Shafter 11 but I just want to highlight a few verses that have kind of stuck out at me so let's go to he was shocked at 11 verse one I promise I won't read the entire chapter. 11 verse one Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of the things not seen verse 4 by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than came through which he obtained witness that he was righteous gone testifying to his gives and through it being dead still speaks verse 13. These all died in faith not having received the promises but having seen them a far off or assured of them embrace them and confess that they were strangers and pilgrims on the year for those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And if truly they had called to mind that country from which they had come out they would have had opportunity to return but now they desire a better at that is a heavenly country therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for He has prepared a city for them by faith aver him when he was tested offered up by a sick and he who had received the promise offered up his only begotten Son. Of whom it is said in Isaac your seed shall be caught concluding that gaunt was able to raise him up even from the dead from which he also received him in a figurative sense verse $24.00 by faith Moses when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharos daughter choosing rather to suffer of Flik sion with the people of God then to enjoy the passing pleasure of sin verse 30 by faith. The Walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for 7 days by faith harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe them when she said when she had received the spies with peace and want shall I say more see for time would fail me to tell of Gideon of Berrick and Samson And Jephthah and of David and Samuel the prophets who through faith subdued kingdoms work to righteousness obtain promises stamped them out of lions quench the violence of fire escape the edge of the sword out of weakness were made strong became valiant in battle turned to flight the armies of the aliens women received their dead raised to life again others were tortured not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection still others had trial of mocking and scourging Yes and of chains and imprisonment they were stoned they were sawn into they were tempted they were slain with the sword they wandered in sheepskins and goatskins being destitute of flicked it tormented of whom the world was not worthy these wandered in deserts and mountains in caves of the earth and these having obtained a good testament through faith did not receive the promise God having provided something better for us that they should not be made perfect apart from us therefore. Paul is building a crescendo of his argument. He goes through the hall of faith and then comes to his concluding remarks in Hebrews Chapter 12 and verse one it's an application it goes from them to us. Therefore we also. Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses these witnesses are the individuals the faithful that have gone before. The faithfulness of Abel of you know of Noah of Abraham of Jacob of Joseph of David of Samuel the faithful who have gone before these are the witnesses these are the individuals that have forged a trail and the path for us. He says Therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses the witnesses are the ones that we've read in the hall of faith and he was shocked or 11 Paul here is painting a picture he's using a metaphor. We're surrounded by this proverbial cloud of individuals that have been faithful before us and then he starts to make its application let us lay aside every weight and sin which so easily ensnares us. Secrets than cherish sins addictions habits. Things that perhaps no one else in the world knows but the Lord does perhaps is something that you've been struggling with your entire life. Perhaps your youth leader perhaps you're A G Y C volunteer. Perhaps you're an elder in your church perhaps or even a pastor. And this sin this habit this addiction has been plaguing you your entire life. And here the apostle Paul says. We need to lay them aside. Because this thing is be setting us it's weighing us down it's keeping us back in our Christian experience. We're told in the book steps to Christ that one sinful desire persistently cherished will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. One sinful desire persistently cherish will eventually neutralized all the power of the gospel. It's holding us back. You recognize that this cherished sin is keeping you back in your Christian experience but I praise the Lord for His grace. I praise the Lord for his victory I praise the Lord that in steps of Christ I pray that if you have not read the book steps to Christ that you read it here tonight the book steps a crisis says that the Lord would love to have us come to him just the way that we are. I praise the Lord that we can come to him just the way that we are but he loves us too much to leave us in that condition Amen. We're told in the book steps to Christ that even repentance is a gift. Repentance is a sorrow for sin and a turning away from it. Repentance is a gift. Repentance is not a barrier to keep you away from Jesus so many people think I need to repent before I come to Jesus. But you can come to Jesus and say Lord I'm not even sorry. Help me to be sorry give me the gift of repentance Oliver you do for me what I'm incapable of doing for myself. I come to. And I pray tonight if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that you'll do that tonight you can't be that cherished sin by yourself Jesus is our only hope. You can give your will our promises. Are like ropes of sand. He can change your heart he can change your affections. Therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses let us lay aside every weight and sin. Which so easily ensnares us why do we need to take this off because here Paul uses his metaphor he says let us run. The reason why we need to lay aside every weight and sin that so easily be sets us because he's using this metaphor of running. Any and you recognize when you're running you need to lay off excess weight. You need to take these things off here Paul is grasping for a metaphor. To describe the Christian experience. He's grasping for this metaphor an aspect of the Christian experience that he's trying to convey and he does not use in this instance the word walk. He don't say let a stroll. Let saunter let's plod let's shuffle. Let's crawl. Now there are places in Scripture where the Christian experience is given the implication of a walk but in this instance Paul uses the metaphor. Of running now for those of you that are here tonight. What is your emotional response when I say the word run. I'll be honest with you I when I think of physical running. For fun. I don't have any positive feeling. I would have much preferred that Paul used the metaphor walk because when I hear the word walk David let's go for a walk I'm like oh yeah let's let's go for a walk we can we can talk and do other things while we're walking but when someone says David let's go for a run. I just don't feel warm things. And I wish that Paul would use another metaphor in here Paul is trying to convey something anything and he's grasping for a metaphor and he says let us run with insurance let us run. He's trying to convey an aspect of the Christian experience no he did not say saunter plodders shuffle he did not even say walk he's trying to illustrate an aspect of Christianity and he uses the metaphor of running. Paul did not end there I wish he would have stopped but he goes on and he says let us run with insurance. In other words. This run. Is not $100.00 yard dash it's not like you run 10 feet and you're like I'm done. It's not a 1000 meters. It's not even a mile. Here Paul uses the word run with insurance in other words this is a race at which some point you're going to be tempted to quit. It's going to be a challenging race it's going to be difficult matter fact it's even going to get to the place where you're going to be tempted to stop. And there are many people that have begun the Christian experience they've begun with enthusiasm. But they haven't started what they finish they've dropped out. Here in Galatians the Apostle Paul makes a comment. And he says you are running the race so well who has held you back from following the troop there's going to be people that start the race and yet do not finish the race Paul in Hebrew is Chapter 12. Uses a metaphor of enduring running to describe the Christian experience. Recently I. Started reading a book on insurance Ronnie. It's called ultramarathons. Ever read about some of these individuals. It's really quite fascinating because it's gotten to the place where running a marathon 26.2 miles is not enough and they call them selves all Ciara insurance runners. There's one race I read about it's called the Leadville $100.00. They start of the race to boost the economic activity of a town in Leadville. The Leadville 100 because it's 100 miles it's 15600 feet of climbing and descent they say it's like running 4 marathons back to back with a sock in your mouth because of the elevation. And the record for running this race is 15 hours and $42.00 minutes. Non-stop. Less than half of the runners that start the race finish the race. The individuals that do this start. Machines just super human I want to meet one of them I just can't imagine running a 100 miles for fun much less paying to do so. And there was a gentleman I read about his name name is Dean Carr Naz he's not sure if I'm saying that right. He is a ultra marathon champion. He ran 350 miles nonstop. It took him 80 hours and $44.00 minutes he did this in 2005. He ran 50 marathons in 50 states and 50 consecutive days in 2006. And then in 2007. He swam across the San Francisco Bay and this was his warm up. Before he ran 3000 miles across the United States from California to New York City in $75.00 days running 40 to 50 miles per day. This man is I don't know if there's an English word to describe him incredible. And I had to ask myself when I was reading about these phenomenal athlete. And the one question that always would come up why would anyone want to do that. These people are motivated by something that is beyond me. To do that for fun. You have to be careful what your reach. You really have to be careful what you read because a few months later I signed up for a marathon. It's amazing how it goes from here and then you start signing up for things that you never thought would sign up and my my logic when something like this perhaps I was going through a crisis I think I kind of was I'd reached a point you know and I was like oh what what other mount is there a climb and I saw a marathon and I said Surely if Dean Carr now as he is can run 350 miles nonstop I can run 26. Piece A K. 35026. And so I did start training. I didn't realize till later that the average individual like myself. Can only hold a certain amount of glycogen in our tank alert certain amount of sugar and we only can hold about 18 to 20 miles worth of glycogen and in the last 6 miles you just run on fumes. And last year I ran the Detroit Marathon I don't know what possessed me but I'm there at the start line. And it's interesting how the psychology of this thing goes because in the beginning everyone's smiling and high 5 ing We got this this is going to be great and you know you're all pumped up marathon Yes this is wonderful there's like thousands of people and you're running on adrenaline and the 1st 13 miles it's wonderful. I remember going over the Ambassador Bridge and I was just fly I was passing people and I looked down at my pace and I said Oh I am on set for a P.R. a personal record. And I'm passing people and and I was next to an individual and he told me his marathon time and 2 hours and 30 minutes and I was like wow this is this is wonderful. He was staying back with the rest of us but I would notice that at certain times he would surge and so I would surge with him. 131-415-1617. And I don't know if excruciating describes what I was feeling. I literally thought. Because of the amount of pain I was experiencing. I was going to lose my mind. I'm not exaggerating I've never been in so much pain before because what I had done it was a cool day and so I was skipping water stations like an intelligent individual. And by mouth 17 I was absolutely dehydrated and burned out all my lecture light. And the thought entered my fuzzy consciousness. Why am I doing. Why did I pay $120.00 to do that. And I'll never forget it I'm running my own 20 and these people these women are cheering 6 more miles and hundreds think. I don't think this is going to be a reality. I honestly thought. I was not going to finish. And somehow in the midst of that foggy agony because that's what it was. I focused on the finish line. Some of you may not think that's a very motivating thing but for some reason it was I focused on the finish line. And everything within my being I just served and and ran and ran and ran and ran and I thought that I was literally at one point I remember in another marathon that I ran that about 300 yards from the finish line there was a guy that was about to fall backwards and they had to catch him and that's the way I felt. I was running and running and running and finally I crossed the finish line and I'm not exaggerating I crossed the finish line and the guy with the medal was like from here to the front row he had the medal and he said come on. And I said OK and my legs had froze. And he said come on and I said I can't. And he said You mean to tell me you've gone 26 miles you can't come 10 feet I said no. And I literally waddled over to him he put the medal on my neck my wife came to me I said I'm never doing that again. He rachet to 12 as absolutely new meaning to me now. Paul relay. The Christian experience. Doing in durance run. And he says that the present agony. Is made easier by where your focus lies. Let me read that again the present agony is made easier dependent on where your focus lies. The Bible tells us in Genesis Chapter 29 verse 20 so Jacob served 7 years to get Rachel 7 years is a long time. You actually have to work 14. But they seem to notice this next part now this is true love but they seemed only a few days because of his love for her. The present agony is made easier by where your focus lines the more profound the focus point the more profound our motivation Let's go back to the rich Chapter 12. Therefore we also since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses legislators signed every weight and sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with in durance the race that is set before us looking unto whom looking on to whom Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before us endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus says that we should look to Jesus Jesus is our motivation someone say man. Jesus is who drives us Jesus he is who propels us forward Jesus he is the individual that motivated the book of Acts and motivates every Christian to take the Gospel to the world. Focus on Jesus. And he enables you to be carried through. The apostle Paul goes on looking on to Jesus what should we focus on the author in the finish our faith in God that started with initiative a man who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Were TOLD to focus. On the way that Jesus injured. I want to read this from the desire of ages. The awful moment had come. The moment which was to decide the destiny of the world. The fate of humanity trembled in the balance. Christ might even now refuse to drink the cup a portion to guilty man this is in disseminate. It was not yet too late he might wipe away the bloody sweat from his brow and leave man to perish in his iniquity he might say let the transgressor receive the penalty of his sin I will go back to his father Jesus in gost M. and he could've walked away and he would have told us nothing. He could've gone right back to have it. The weight of sin and guilt was crushing his very soul. The sinless one was becoming the Sin bearer and his nature recoil from guest M. any. She goes on. The words fall trembling from the pale lips of Jesus oh my father. If this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it that I will be done. 3 times he uttered that prayer 3 times has humanity shrunk from the last crowning sacrifice the reality is Jesus wanted to quit. He asked not once not twice but 3 times father do I have to drink this cup he was going through the agony of the 70. And it got to the place where heaven could no longer take in and an angel had to be sent. To take this cup away. The words fall trembling from the pale lips of Christ. But now the history of the human race comes before the world's Redeemer. He sees that the transgressors of the law if left to themselves must perish. His decision is made. He will save man at any cost. To himself. What kept Jesus going into semi. He's going through agony. He wants to go back to have. Wipe the sweat from his brow he doesn't want to be the sin bear it's crushing the life of his very soul. He's experiencing separation from God. And then he thinks of you. Amen. He thinks of me. David shit. And he says. I'll do it. We're told that heaven is not a place to be desired. For Christ. With the thought that we would not be there. He endured to 70. And his motivation was you. Who you thought of you. Were not a collective faceless group of individuals but you sitting in that chair the individual. Were told so many times a Christ would have come for one but he came literally for you and into ceremony even when he wanted to walk away. What compelled him what motivated him forward was you. And Paul is saying in Hebrews Chapter 12. Focus on the Christ. That focused on. A man. Focus on the Christ. That focused on you. Want to make appeals tonight. If it's your desire tonight. To say in your heart of hearts. Lord I want to see you just. Tell me to keep my eye. Focused on the Christ. That focused on me. Help me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus let Jesus be my motivation for service because everything else is selfishness. Held Jesus to be the reason why we go door to door have Jesus be the way reason why we do everything in a facade that's your desired tonight I want to invite you to stand with me a lot and help me because I can't help myself help me to keep my eye fixed on Jesus help Jesus to be the reason and the motivation for service held Jesus to be everything that drives me forward to take the Gospel to the world in this generation. Tonight I can't. Reply was this with an opportunity to. Read to give you to respond. If there's someone here tonight read that hasn't fully surrendered their life to Jesus Christ. If there's someone here tonight that perhaps you've given 50 percent perhaps you've given 90 percent perhaps you've even given 99 percent but you know in your heart of hearts that there's an aspect of your heart that you haven't fully laid on the altar and tonight you want to say Jesus. Take my heart because I can't give it I want to lay myself on reserve and lay on the altar of sacrifice for you because of what you have done for me 100 percent I want to invite you to come forward. There's no merit. In coming forward coming forward is a physical response that solidifies a spiritual message Amen I want to. But you to come forward tonight you have not made a full surrender to Jesus Christ but what you want to do. You haven't given 100 percent someone here is being called in the mission field and you're struggling and you want to say Lord I'll go where you want me to go I'll be work you want me to be someone you're tonight is putting the opinions of their boyfriend or girlfriend above Jesus Christ and you want to say Lord I want to place you 1st in my life I wanted by you to forward tonight someone here tonight. Is experiencing challenges with stewardship and God is calling you to be faithful stewards and you want to lay that on the altar I want to invite you to forward tonight you want to lay yourself 100 percent on the altar and say Lord take my heart because I can't give it do for me what I'm incapable of doing for myself please give me the gift of repentance and father help M's father revealed Jesus to Father may Jesus be the motivation. There's nothing more that Jesus could have done that he did and he did it cal for all of Heaven was ordered out in that gift of Jesus Christ. And that's why we're here friends when that's why we exist as G Y C. Thus why we go door to door that's why we sacrificed our Christmas vacation and because of Jesus. And want to invite you to bow your heads with me as we pray. Real Father in heaven and. Room Lord I wish that I had. Retiring of an angel that I could convey how much you love. All that I had the language of Canaan that I could deliver. A message worthy of your love. Or thankful that you make up the difference and father tonight. Your people have stood saying Lord. We want Jesus to be our motivation we want Jesus to be the individual that drives. That motivates that no matter the challenges it brings us forward. Lord Some have come forward tonight saying. I want to give everything. There's something that I've been keeping from the altar and I want to lay it down I pray for them tonight. I pray that you would do for the individual. Give them the gift of repent. Give them your spirit give them your robe abroad just as cover them and we pray that your you would work in them both to will and to do of your good pleasure. Take our hearts. Because we cannot. Really ask these things in Jesus name. And for his. Name. D.-O. was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse for you would like to listen to more sermons please visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.

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