Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Key to Victory

By David A. Sargent
    It appeared that she was about to be a repeat winner of the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA, a 10-kilometer race that is considered the largest running event in the world.  Around 50,000 runners participated in the event on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
    The finish line was in view, about 150 meters away, but the lead runner in the Elite Women’s race, Ethiopian Senbere Teferi, was focused on something else.  A policeman on a motorcycle with blue lights flashing had been leading the runners and keeping the roadway clear for them.  The policeman exited the course so that the runners could finish the race.  In a moment of confusion, Teferi followed the policeman off the course.  Two other runners that were close behind Teferi saw her mistake but stayed on the course.  Recognizing her mistake, Teferi sprinted back to the course and tried to catch the other runners but was unable.
    Had Teferi stayed on course, she would have won the $10,000 first prize.  Instead, she came in third place earning a $3,000 prize.
    Earning third place is very impressive still, but sadly, this elite runner lost the race because she was focused on the wrong thing. *
    There is another “race” in which each of us should want to participate because the “prize” is eternal life in heaven.  If we don’t “get in the race” and complete it successfully, eternal punishment awaits us because of our sins (Matthew 7:13-14).
    In this race, the key to victory is fixing our eyes on the One who makes victory possible.  Our sins entangle us, weigh us down, and actually disqualify us from receiving the prize.  But Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again to pay the price for our redemption from sin and to enable us to run the race victoriously.  Jesus won the victory, but we can share in His victory.  The key is for us to keep our eyes on Him and follow Him.
    “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 pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
    Jesus enables us to enter the race (because He paid the price for our sins) and to share in His victory over sin and death.  We must fix our eyes on Him alone and follow Him all the way to the “finish line.”  It’s not a race to see who finishes first; we must simply finish the race by faithfully following Jesus.
    God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  Then, as we continue to follow Jesus by walking (or “running”) in the light of His Word, He continues to cleanse us from our sins by His atoning blood (1 John 1:7-9).
    Enter the race by accepting Jesus’ offer of salvation.  Then run!  Don’t get distracted; keep your eyes on the Leader.  Keep following Him.  He will lead you to victory.

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

* Information gleaned from “Elite runner makes wrong turn just before finish line, costing her $10,000 top prize" by Christopher Brito of CBS News,

No comments:

Post a Comment