President’s Post: You are not alone in this race

I was overjoyed to see and hear so many wonderful testimonies and stories this past weekend of parents and students who came from all across the country to experience Liberty University for the first time at College For a Weekend. What a fantastic weekend we just had. For many, CFAW is the first introduction and impression that future students and their families have of our campus. And for many of you, your Liberty story began at a CFAW event. What the Lord may have laid upon your heart was a calling to enroll at Liberty University and to become a Champion for Christ.

I am always amazed at our students and what they are doing on campus. For many of our student-athletes, this is the last year they will compete in ASUN sports before entering Conference USA this fall. Our men’s basketball team is entering into another ASUN Conference Championship as a No. 2 seed, and our women’s team is also making a solid run for the ASUN Conference Championship. Liberty men’s and women’s Indoor Track and Field teams claimed ASUN Conference Championship titles over the weekend. This is a back-to-back title for the women’s team and a fifth consecutive title for the men’s team. 

Did you know that Liberty University has never lost a men’s indoor track and field conference meet at the NCAA Division I level and that Liberty owns the longest active streak of conference titles in Division I? That is truly remarkable. Head Coach Lance Bingham was voted ASUN Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year. That is a job well done and a well-deserved honor and recognition.

There is a biblical principle here that I would like to share.

The Scripture says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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 author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

All Christians are called to run the race of endurance. So, are you running your race and running to win? Paul said, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24). I want to encourage you on how you can run your race at Liberty University and honor Christ in life as a
true champion.

The first thing I want you to see, dear student, is that you are not alone in this race. We are surrounded by a “cloud of witnesses.” What does that mean? We have a church community and countless examples in Scripture of men and women who lived their lives in service to Christ and his kingdom. They ran their race and finished well. Because we are surrounded by these faithful witnesses, this is all the more reason to run our race to win.

Second, we must throw off everything that hinders us. The Scriptures are clear that sin is what so easily entangles us. Athletes are disciplined and will undergo a strict diet and workout program to ensure peak physical fitness for competition. Our spiritual lives are no different. What sin or bad habit is entangling you? You must repent and confess it before the Lord. The Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). That’s our promise. Because of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross, we have this promise from the Lord that if we confess our sins, we will be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. 

Third, we must always look to Christ. At the beginning of every race, the finish seems distant and far off. As we go a great distance and become mature in Christ, our final prize doesn’t seem that far off. The key to winning is to never lose sight of the prize; our prize is Jesus Christ and eternal life with him. Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Dear student, I am praying for you and cheering you on. I hope you will learn each day what it is to know and follow Jesus and run his race with endurance as a true Champion for Christ.

Prevo is the Interim President of Liberty University

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