StoneBridge Community Church
Trusting God and Persevering
Pastor Jeff Cheadle
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Campus
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:30 PM, Sunday 7:00 AM, Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Growth Groups
    Simi Town Center Way, Simi Valley, CA 93065, USA
    Sunday 12:00 PM

Online "Connection Card"

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to our online "Connection Card" where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.

The Text in Context

Bob Utley, "Hebrews 12" From the series The Superiority of the New Covenant: Hebrews.
You can't be the me you want to be if you give up before you get there.
1. I will realize…
1. I will realize that I'm not alone.
Followers of Jesus don't go through anything alone.

"I'm All Alone"

Tim Curry as King Arthur in original 2005 Broadway performance of Monty Python's Spamalot. Camera capture. YouTube video.

New Testament Athletic Metaphors

"The New Testament uses a number of athletic in discussing Christianity, especially in the Pauline epistles and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Such metaphors also appear in the writings of contemporary philosophers, such as Epictetus and Philo, drawing on the tradition of the Olympic Games, and this may have influenced New Testament use of the imagery." —"New Testament Athletic Metaphors," Wikipedia article.

Dome of the Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel of Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama.

For Reflection/Discussion: Have you ever felt like giving up? When? Did you give up? What was the result of your decision? What are your thoughts on the statement You can't be the me you want to be if you give up before you get there? Why do we feel alone when we are discouraged? Where do you look for support when you are going through tough times and feel like giving up? What is the author of the Book of Hebrews point in reminding us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses? Who are these witnesses? (See Hebrews 11) How can their presence and example be an encouragement to us?
2. I will release…
2. I will release anything that might hinder, limit, or trip me up.

Ancient Greek race at the Panathenaic Games, illustrated on a Greek vase.

Running With the Witnesses

John Piper, "Running With the Witnesses" Desiring God, August 17, 1997.
For Reflection/Discussion: What evidence do you see in Hebrews 12.1-3 that the author and the author's readers are interested in sports? What are some other New Testament texts that demonstrate a similar interest? In what way is the Christian life like a marathon or endurance race? How do sins, unhealthy habits, negative attitudes, and unnecessary distractions hinder our becoming the me we want to be?
3. I will run…
3. I will run the race knowing that God has a plan for my life.


"The marathon is a long-distance race, completed by running, walking , or a run/walk strategy… The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, who reported the victory…" Wikipedia article
For Reflection/Discussion: Hebrews 12.1 refers to a race that has been "marked out for us." By whom? For what purpose? What purpose do hurdles and obstacles serve in races? What are some of the possible reasons God allows us to experience hurdles and obstacles in our becoming the me we were created to be? In Romans 8.28 Paul writes, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." How can this verse help us persevere in the midst of hardship? James 1.2 advises, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…" Why "pure joy"? Is this possible? Read Romans 5.3-5. How does endurance produce character?
4. I will remember…
4. I will remember and be encouraged by the example and victory of Jesus.
For Reflection/Discussion: When you are going through tough times, what do you tend to focus on? Why does the author of Hebrews encourage us to fix our eyes on Jesus? What does it mean to say that Jesus is "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith"? Jesus' last recorded words before dying were "It is finished." The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy noting that he (Paul) had finished his race. What does it take to finish well? What would have happened if Jesus had chosen not to complete the work God the Father had given him to do? What results followed from Jesus' finishing his work? Under what conditions, if any, is it appropriate to give up? What work has God called you to do? How can you do to maximize the likelihood that you will finish well?

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