Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: Don't give up along your race with Jesus


I thank you and appreciate so much the opportunity to minister to your heart today through "Gleanings" from the Open Bible Baptist Church! The thought I have on my heart for today is titled "Don't Quit!" In Hebrews 12:12-13, we see these inspired words: "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." (KJV)

The overwhelming theme of Hebrews 12:1-13 concerns "the running of a race," and that race is run by the person who knows Jesus as their Lord and Savior. There are those today that think living for Christ is "a walk in the park" and that if a Christian has any problems or difficulties in their Christian life, then they must have sinned and God is punishing them with a hard life, but that is simply not true.

Here, the writer of the book of Hebrews has just examined the great "Hall of Faith" in Chapter 11, and with each of these men and women of faith, we see hardship, failure and difficulty in their life. When this inspired writer's pen wrote the words "lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees," he wasn't instructing us to help another face their difficult circumstances. Rather, he was instructing the Christians he was writing to concerning their own spiritual life, who like a marathon runner was running tired, exhausted or in other words "out of gas!" Their hands were hanging down, their shoulders were stooped, and their legs were like rubber because they were tired as they were running their race for their Savior. He was telling them "Don't Quit" but instead, "get a second wind," start running tough with power and strength for the race that is set before you!

We are living in days that will test the resolve of the Christian. We are living in days that many who were once faithful to God and to His House have decided to quit. We are living in the days just before the sounding of the trumpet and every born-again child of God hears their name called by the Lord Jesus Himself and hears the words, "Come up hither!" So don't quit living for God! Keep your eyes on the finish line! We may very well see Jesus Christ today, and I sure would hate to set eyes on Him knowing that I had quit living for the One who saved me by His marvelous grace! In these days, may we pray one for another that we will "finish well!"

I want to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to everyone who does not have a church home to come to the Open Bible Baptist Church this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for a great day of singing and preaching! We are blessed to have the Brady Rochester family from Spartanburg with us in both of our services. This family can really sing and play many different instruments and Bro. Brady will be a blessing to your heart as he brings a message from God's Word. So if you can, come and enjoy what God has in store for us this coming Sunday! Everyone is welcome!

Dr. Joey Durham is pastor at Open Bible Baptist Church at 180 Old Manning Road in Sumter. You can contact Pastor Durham at or call the church office at (803) 481-9315.