The Marathon

Hebrews 12:1-3 “We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.”

I'm not a runner. I have never enjoyed it and avoid it when I can. But there's plenty that can be learned about running and we have been given a challenge. For instance, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24 “do you know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you will win.”

Have you ever watched runners in 5K races or on TV? It's not just a sprint that's run quickly and is over. It's a marathon, a long haul. The runners can't just take off and run full bore. They must pace themselves to complete the race. But all runners are in the race to be the winner. For some it's a race just for themselves but they still have to complete it.

Our Christian life is a lot like a 5K run. We can't just jump right in, finish in seconds flat and call ourselves done and saved. We have to keep moving slow and steady until it's over on the day of salvation. Our prize is a home in heaven with Jesus. So, like Paul says, we must all run to win.

There is a difference between this race and a race on this earth though. Instead of one winner, we all are winners. We all receive the prize when we finish the race. Like I said, I don't like running but in middle school we all had to participate in field day which always included the mile run. I always dreaded that day, but it was nice that we only had to run at our own pace. The teachers always patiently waited for us all to finish and even if we didn't run in the time for the big award, we all received our participant award. At times some of the other kids who had finished the race would come back out again and run with the slower runners to encourage them along.

Our walking life will sometimes be smooth payment to run along and other times the terrain will be rough. God wants us to hang in there and be strong. In Corinthians we are told to run in a way to win, but scripture adds some encouragement.

1. God runs with us and alongside of us- Hebrews 13:5.

2. God has gone ahead of us making our run a little easier- John 10:4

Don't despair when you feel the race will never end. Take your time, pace yourself and find hope in the fact that God is always there by your side helping you along the way. 2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” In doing this, verse 8 tells us we will be rewarded with a crown of righteousness.

Like a marked path for runners in a race, Jesus has marked our path for the race of life. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as we run, knowing the prize is a life with Him, free from this world of sin. Let us all encourage each other along the way, helping everyone until it is finished and together claim the victory with Jesus. See you along the track 😊

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