Throw in the Towel

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

May 22, 2024

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Throw in the Towel

Read

Hebrews 2:1 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”

Hebrews 6:1 “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God.”

Think

Marathon runners know all too well the daunting moment known as "hitting the wall," which typically occurs around mile 21 of the grueling 26.2-mile race. It's the point when your body screams for you to stop, your mind pleads for relief, and every fiber of your being urges you to quit. This concept isn't just a physical experience; it also parallels the spiritual endurance test faced by the early believers addressed in the Book of Hebrews. These followers of Christ had reached their breaking point—whether due to persecution, the temptation to revert to familiar old ways, or sheer spiritual fatigue. The message woven throughout Hebrews is clear: despite the trials, stand firm in your faith because Jesus Christ surpasses all.

The writer of Hebrews painstakingly illustrates that Christ is superior to all—greater than angels, Moses, the Old Covenant, its priests, and the sacrificial system. The book articulates how Jesus brings a superior salvation, offers a more hopeful covenant than the Law of Moses, and provides a redemption surpassing any animal sacrifice. For believers facing adversity, this portrayal of Jesus as the ultimate hope and solution is meant to fortify their resolve to hold tightly to their faith.

In times of trial, like those experienced by the Jewish Christians under Nero's oppressive regime, the temptation to return to old, familiar ways can be overwhelming. The author of Hebrews reminds them that turning back to the Mosaic Law would be settling for less. Instead, they are encouraged to persevere in following the superior path laid out by Christ, who offers not just a new covenant but a new way of life rooted in enduring hope and eternal reward.

Today, while we may not worship wooden idols as in ancient times, we often elevate modern-day idols—technology, wealth, comfort, even our families—above our spiritual welfare. These distractions, while not bad, can usurp the place meant for Jesus in our lives. Hebrews calls us to reevaluate our priorities, reminding us that only Jesus can offer the true fulfillment and peace we seek. By giving him the central place in our lives, everything else will naturally align, bringing clarity and purpose in the marathon of our faith journey. So keep going, don’t fall back.

Apply

Do you need a “heart check,” a moment to examine where you are placing your priorities and affections? Think about the past week. What consumed most of your time and energy? Was it work, personal pursuits, or perhaps an undue focus on material comforts? How much time do you pursue Jesus – spending time in prayer, in his Word, and at his house? Don’t “hit the wall,” press on!

Pray

Jesus, in a world filled with constant noise, show me what really matters. Teach me to prioritize my relationship with you above all else. Help me to understand that placing you at the center of my life is the only way to true fulfillment. In your name. Amen.

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