Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I went for a couple mile run the other night. My younger siblings and mom were going to walk around the lake the opposite way and we were going to cross paths at some point. I got about 90% done and there they were... all lined up to race me to the end. I was in no way ready to race to the end... I was tired after the previous 2 miles and just not ready to sprint it out at the end. I determined to keep my pace regardless of what they did. I always like to finish strong, so for the last 100 yards or so (uphill), I decided to sprint up that last hill. I had some "beat the little brother" motivation in there as well. ;) Just for the record, I found it quite humorous. :)

One of the things that I think about most while running is the life applications to running. It takes endurance. It takes planning. If I was to start out too fast, I wouldn't be able to finish. The world around us is full of every kind of instability... finances jump up and down... friends come and go... etc. I am reminded of that passage where Jesus is telling His disciples to count the cost of following Christ. The sermon on Sunday was about faithfulness to the end... even if that means death for the sake of Christ. That is endurance. That is planning to finish strong. The pace is living today in such a manner that I am ready to die for Christ if that be His plan. It is living every moment of today as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God. To be holy is to be without blemish. True holiness can only be found in Christ, but He calls me to be holy as He is holy. This is the pace of being victorious over sin. Finishing strong comes when death is conquered by the glorious uniting of us with Christ at the resurrection.  Death is swallowed up in victory through Christ.

Death is a split moment out of our entire life.  We can't add or take away a moment from our life.  God determines how long we have here on earth and so it is our job to run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus who is both the author (starter) and finisher of our faith.  He hems us in behind and before in the sense of running the race.  I think of those marathon runners with the police cars all around them the entire way... they are hemed in and protected.  That is a small example of what God is for us.  He protects us along the way.  He doesn't make it so that we don't need to run, but He is right there guiding us toward the finish and then finishing with the victory over sin and death at the cross.  The battle comes in the running.  I was reading in James 5 today...
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
I can't think of a single person that had a tougher trial than what Job had. I'm sure there have been... but Job had it tough: his wealth was stripped away, his family was killed, his health was very bad, and his wife and friends were less than encouraging. Yet, looking at James' commentary on Job... this actually proved that God is full of compassion and mercy! God blesses those that go through trials. He is not bound to it, but I believe He takes joy in blessing His children just like earthly fathers take joy in blessing their children. God lets us walk through the trials of life... actually, I think we can say Biblically that He absolutely plans the trials of life for His glory and for our good.

God, help me to be faithful. Help me to endure. Help me to run with my eyes fully fixed on Christ.

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