In the 1994 fictional movie Forrest Gump, Forrest becomes famous for running. What began as a jog “to the end of the road” continued for three years, two months, fourteen days, and sixteen hours. Each time he arrived at his destination, he set another one and continued to run, zig-zagging across the United States, until one day when he no longer felt like it. “Feeling like it” was the way his running began. Forrest says, “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run.”
In contrast to Forrest’s seemingly whimsical running, the apostle Paul asks his readers to follow his example and “run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Like disciplined athletes, our running—the way we live our lives—might mean saying no to some of our pleasures. Being willing to forgo our rights might help us reach others with the good news of our rescue from sin and death.
With our hearts and minds trained on the goal of inviting others to run the race alongside us, we are also assured of the ultimate prize—eternal fellowship with God. The victor’s crown God bestows will last forever; we win it by running our lives with the aim of making Him known while relying on His strength to do so. What a reason to run!
What is your “aim” in life? How is it similar to or different than Paul’s?
The New Testament letter to the Hebrews was written to readers born and raised under the law of Moses. Their lives had been centered in the moral, civil, and ceremonial obligations of a temple-based culture. Now, however, they were in trouble for believing in Jesus in defiance of temple authorities and the teachers of their law. Some were discouraged. They needed to know that, while no one likes to suffer, they didn’t have to live in fear of dying (2:14–15). Jesus had suffered and tasted death for them (v. 9). He was greater than Moses and was the last sacrifice for sin they’d ever need (3:1–3; 9:24–48). He was a High Priest who wasn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters (2:10–13). In Jesus—their new temple—they had become the house of God (3:1–6). Remembering what Jesus had suffered and won for them, they could encourage one another.
To learn more about the letter to the Hebrews, visit christianuniversity.org/NT337.