Sunday Sermon Snack – Jamaican Gems : Endurance

Good afternoon, everyone! How is your Saturday? I hope it’s a blessed one. I know mine is and I thank God for his new blessings and mercies today. He is worthy of all my praise. 

I have another Jamaican Gem for you. This time it’s coming from Barry. He brought a dynamic and delectable word on endurance and I know you will be blessed by it. There’s alot of meat on the bone. Please share this word with your friends and family. It’s powerful. 

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“Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.  But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.  But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.  Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer;  for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.  You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But not a hair of your head shall be lost.  By your patience possess your souls.”

Luke 21:10‭-‬19 NKJV

Endurance will help you save your life. Things will change. The Lord never promised a perfect life, but we must lock our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. 

There are four  reasons people don’t reach the finish line of their first marathon. The biggest reason people don’t reach the finish line is their schedule. You can’t cram for a marathon the night before. Endurance is something you commit to all the time and make it work into your schedule. When you train for a marathon it affects every day of your life. On the spiritual side it works the same way. We want to grow stronger in God but we have no time. This race is drawn out for you no matter who you are. Discipleship costs us everything and will require more and more of you. We must work it into our schedule everyday of the week. To train for the race and to know Jesus you must be with him every day. Jesus told his disciples that his food was to do the will of him who sent him, acting out what the Father gave him every day. A relationship with God is nurishing. We cannot endure without food.  

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And  He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

Hebrews 10:36‭-‬39 NKJV

We are not of those who shrink back. To complete a marathon we must have stamina. We have to focus on the prize. We want things to go our way and we want conditional living. In order to have stamina we must ignore everything around us. A challenge may sometimes sound silly but it’s needed for stamina. Lock your eyes on Jesus. The third reason is the inability to commit to something you cannot see. Jesus is the prize. There’s a difference between doing a two mile run and a twenty-two mile run. We must conserve our energy and not blow up. We’re not competing with the one beside us. The prize is not in passing them. It’s Jesus. Pace yourself for the race. You won’t live the Christian life in a few days. We have enough food and strength for one day. We don’t know how long it will take but we must endure. 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

We must see the finish line by faith. Some will say to not get our hopes up in case it doesn’t happen. With Jesus we must get our hopes sky-high. All things are possible in him. We hope to see Jesus face to face. We don’t need to see the finish line in order to run. When we see the finish line the time of restraining is over and running is easy. We walk by faith, something we can’t see. Don’t have a problem with not being able to see. Jesus was asked for a sign by the people. Seeing the finish line or prize is overrated. We need Jesus to hold our hand everyday. It’s not about independence but dependence. It’s like a backwards relationship. The more we know Jesus the more we depend on him. He is the hope inside of us. This faith on the prize will preserve our souls and never shrink back. The fourth reason people never finish their first marathon is distraction, by people and their own pace among other things. Marathons are full of distractions. There are a million things that can happen in a marathon and none of them are good. The same can be said for the Christian race. 

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and 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.

Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

We must run with endurance looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. He is our example of endurance. He endured the cross. The things around us may not change and we can’t let what happens effect our day. We must be unoffendable and not allow ourselves to put our mood or emotional health into someone else’s hands. We must put that into Jesus who knows and understands us. Don’t take life personal. It’s not out to get us. Take the life of Jesus Christ personal. 

“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48 NKJV

Being perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect is our standard. Jesus was obedient and did what his father did. That is endurance, taking the direction that the Father wants us to take. Our faith was dependent of Jesus staying true to the cross. He always ran at the pace of his Father. All time is built around Jesus and he was patient enough to let his pace match the race. Jesus took time to heal all the people that came to him. He healed everybody and stayed until it was over. He never took time to grasp the limelight. He didn’t manipulate it and never enjoyed it. He never bowed to exasperation or fatigued. He never said he had a bad day. He was faithful and showed faithful love always. Endurance isn’t what we see on TV or in books. Endurance is Jesus. All this obedience fulfilled the will of God and prepared him for the cross. 

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Luke 9:23 NKJV

Endurance is daily. We all need endurance and we must keep our focus on Jesus and experience him now. The complete prize comes seeing him face to face. It’s all about pace. Jesus is the standard and no one else. He is the way, the truth, and life. It’s exclusive. Truth is non-negotiable and absolute. We can put our life on Jesus. He finished the race and he is victorious. He took on the form of man and was raised up after he gave his life. The name of Jesus is sold and not going anywhere. Jesus himself will help you endure. He is with us always till the end of the age. Endurance requires the faith perspective. 

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:3 NKJV

In all you’re getting get understanding and lock your eyes on the prize.

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