Contributed by Tim White, Next Gen Pastor at Image Church

Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The weight and burdens that we carry through life can often cause us to desire to just give-up. Paul knew this far to well, as he faced many hardships throughout his journey to share the truth of the good news of Jesus. He most likely saw many people give-up, as circumstances in life became too hard for them to handle on their own. Paul reminds the followers of Jesus here in Hebrews 12:1-2 that we are to lay aside ourselves and run the race with endurance that has been set before us. To help us run this race, Paul says that we are to look to Jesus who is the perfecter of our faith, who endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Throughout the month of January, we are looking at Determination in our I-Kids Discovery Land classes. Determination is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you’ve started. Throughout the Bible, we find people like Noah, Moses, Gideon, David, the prophets, the 12 disciples, Paul, and many others, including Jesus himself, complete great tasks that were laid before them.

Our children are learning that when they feel like giving-up, they need to look to Jesus to keep moving forward, and to be determined to finish what they start…even the small things. Finishing what we start only helps us build confidence and prepares us for the next challenge in finishing the race that God has laid before us. It is important for us to stay focused on Jesus when circumstances in life bring us down, and we begin to feel like giving-up. God never gives-up on us, He will never quit on His people, and He will only give you what He knows you can handle. We must keep moving forward, determined to finish the race that God has laid before us. My prayer is that our children will truly understand this reality, so that when they are faced with challenges and hardships, they will have the confidence and endurance to push forward, looking to Jesus and knowing that He finished the race set before Him so that they can have life.

As parents, we are to demonstrate this to our children. As a father of three with a fourth child on the way, I find this very hard at times. I am currently going to school to eventually receive my degree in religion. I know that God has prepared me for this challenge and will help see me through. Raising a family while working a full-time job and attending college classes is tough, as I am quickly finding out. But I must not forsake the family that God has blessed me with along the way. With the extra workload, it would be easy for me to give-up on the times and activities that I have set with my family. The worst thing I could do to my kids is to not be there for them or start something with them and not follow-through with it. 

  • Do you follow-through on the things you start with your children?
  • Do you quit when things get hard or life gets too busy?
  • Do you finish small tasks with your children that will help prepare them for the larger tasks they will face in life?

As parents, we need to be determined to focus on Jesus, as we strive to finish the race that He has laid before us. We need to be examples of this to our children and the next generation of the church.


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