Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. … Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. … Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. … And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. … In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. … So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. … My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. … Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.