The Race Marked Out For Us – Sermon Recap


This past weekend, Pastor Tim was away at Bible camp, so we had a special guest preacher, Kris Nosworthy, who delivered an inspiring message on endurance, aptly timed with the upcoming Olympic Games. The sermon began with the reading of Hebrews 12:1-3, which emphasizes perseverance and fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Scripture Reading 

The scripture from Hebrews 12:1-3 was read: “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. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

The Theme of Endurance 

Kris highlighted the significance of endurance, drawing parallels to the perseverance required in long-distance running, particularly marathons. He shared his personal experiences attending the Sydney Olympics and witnessing the marathon, a race rooted in ancient history and filled with remarkable stories of human spirit and determination.

Historical Examples of Endurance 

Kris recounted several inspiring marathon stories:

  • The legend of the original marathon where a messenger ran from the battlefield to Athens, declaring victory and then collapsing and dying from the exertion.
  • Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 Olympic marathon barefoot after removing his shoes due to blisters.
  • Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon despite attempts to remove her from the race.
  • Fauja Singh, who became the first centenarian to complete a marathon in 2011.
  • Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the 2-hour barrier for a marathon in 2019, although not in an official race.
  • The story of John Stephen Akhwari, who finished the 1968 Olympic marathon despite falling and injuring himself, was particularly moving. Akhwari’s determination to finish the race, stating, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish it,” serves as a powerful example for Christians to finish the race marked out for them with perseverance.

Preparation for the Race 

Kris emphasized the importance of preparation in running a marathon and in the Christian life. Just as athletes shed unnecessary weight and distractions to optimize their performance, Christians must throw off sin and anything that hinders their spiritual race. This involves a deliberate effort to remove obstacles and focus on the path God has set before them.

Running the Race 

The actual race involves different stages, from the initial adrenaline rush to the reality check, hitting the wall, and finding a second wind. Kris discussed the significance of enduring through these stages with faith and perseverance. He used analogies from his own marathon experiences and the challenges faced by professional runners to illustrate the importance of mental and physical endurance.

Support and Encouragement 

The sermon also highlighted the role of support and encouragement from fellow believers, comparing it to the support teams that aid marathon runners. The “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews refers to the saints of the past and present who inspire and encourage Christians in their spiritual race.

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus 

The key to enduring the race is fixing our eyes on Jesus, who endured the cross for the joy set before Him. By focusing on Jesus and His example of perseverance, Christians can find the strength and motivation to continue their race, despite challenges and obstacles.


Kris concluded the sermon by reminding us that endurance in the Christian life is not just about starting the race but finishing it strongly. He encouraged us to take a new grip with tired hands, strengthen weak knees, and fix our eyes on Jesus to run the race with perseverance and faith. The message was a powerful reminder of the importance of endurance in the Christian journey and the need to rely on Jesus for strength and guidance.

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