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Monday, July 21, 2014

The Race of a Lifetime

By Ron Adams

     Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy 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
     The art of running has come a long way over the centuries. Better training techniques and equipment have been perfected. Improved gear and shoes have lowered times dramatically. The physical, emotional and psychological aspects of coaching have become very sophisticated. All of this has aided athletes in their performance. Yet, with all the help, the individual must run the race to win.
     There has been much progress made in helping people gain knowledge of God’s word (the handbook for running the Race of a Lifetime). First, there was the printing press with moveable type, which made mass production of the Bible feasible. Next came typesetting machines and high speed printing presses that lowered the cost of Bibles to the point where even the poorest soul could afford a copy of the Holy Scriptures. Countless books have been written to aid in the study of the Bible. Numerous classes have been held, and are being held, to help the individual gain the knowledge of God’s Word.
     Living for Christ is a whole lot like running. Bible, books, and training classes are only aids which help us prepare for the Race of a Lifetime. Nothing can take the place of individual participation. While teams may win track meets, it is the individual who wins the race. This is also true in the Race of a Lifetime. There is no prize awarded to those who are members of a church full of winners. No individual can claim credit for what “we” did unless he or she was an active participant.
     In every race there are rules which must be complied with. It’s same in the Race of a Lifetime. When one competes as an Christian, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. 2 Timothy 2:5
     The Race of a Lifetime is won or lost individually. This is not so say we can’t or shouldn’t help one another. But each person is responsible for working out their own salvation. The blame for failure cannot be placed on others no more than a coach can be blamed for a runner’s poor performance. Pathetic performance on the track, or in the Lord’s church, can usually be chalked up to one or more of the following: (1) inadequate training, (2) little dedication, (3) lack of desire, (4) lack of self-discipline, (5) becoming encumbered with the things of this world, (6) quitting before finishing, and such like. Our performance in this Race of a Lifetime is determined by our willingness to do whatever it takes to be a winner. Therefore, with the Lord’s help, run in such a way so as to gain the prize!
     Be a winner in The Race of a Lifetime!
     Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

- F.Y.C. is a monthly publication by Ron Adams. Bible references are from the NASB except where another translation is referenced. Back issues are archived at http://ra10ar.com Be thoughtful and kind. All rights reserved. © 2014


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