Church today was a wonderful time. And the sermon was an encouragement to keep running the race.
The rest of my day has disappeared into an array of phone calls and visits, so this blog will be related solely to the sermon… 🙂 Enjoy!
There’s not a lot of typical sport mentioned in the Bible… Until we get to the writings of Paul. And he writes in athletic terms.
He describes the Christian life in terms of a race.
Every race has a commencement. And Paul began his race on the Damascus road, when he found himself face to face with Jesus Christ. Christian life begins when we meet Jesus. Jesus meets with us. And we have to make a decision. Will we follow Jesus when He steps into our life, or will we keep going our own way?
This is not religion. Religion is about rules and regulation. This is about a relationship with the Creator of the world. It has to be Jesus. Because it is through Him that God delights in showing us mercy.
And the race continues. What kind of race is it? The Christian life is a hurdle race. An obstacle race. Paul was put in prison, persecuted, beaten up, left for for dead… Because we’re called to overcome in order to gain the crown of life. The Christian life is an overcoming life. Because the Christian life is a life of trust. He takes us through the trial and not out. Through the trial, hand in hand with Him.
The race has a conclusion. We finish the race. We keep the faith. What’s the conclusion of the race for the Christian? It’s death. It’s the conclusion of the race, but not the end of the story. Suddenly the pain and perspiration of the race is worth it. We cross the finishing line and burst into jubilant thanksgiving.
And then there’s the crowing ceremony. Paul describes the ceremony. There are crowns that will perish, but we run for a crown that is eternal.
And it will be our greatest joy to offer them back to Him on that day.