Focal Passages: Romans
4:1-3, 23-25; 10:9-13; Hebrews 12:1-2
When my husband Jack and I
retired, we enjoyed lazy afternoons, books, and time to travel.
Before long, however, we
We decided that retirement
meant being tired twice — first, tired of running the race that Hebrews 12:1-3
describes as “set before us,” and second, tired of not running.
So, we asked God to renew
our call. Soon, Jack was back in ministry, and I ran alongside.
Does God ordain our race
before we are born, as Jeremiah 1:5 suggests, or does our free will play a
part?” God answers yes to both.
First, we choose either to
run or go our own way, bypassing God’s will. Christians run because we are
saved — not in order to be saved, or salvation would be the result of works.
Paul insisted, “For by grace are you saved through faith … it is the gift of
God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith
as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Secondly, we choose how to
run. Races are tailor-made. You’re not running my race, and I’m not running
yours. In choosing how to run, Hebrews 12:1 suggests we “Lay aside every
weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us.”
Reviewing my life, I wonder
how much unnecessary weight, like worry, I should have laid aside.
Secondly, we’re to “lay
aside the sin which does so easily beset us,” the area where Satan might trip
Every race has a start,
middle, and finish.
For most of us, childhood,
the start, is easy because others look out for us. Should we make a false
start, there’s time to get things right.
The ending is also
exhilarating with the finish line in sight. The middle of life’s race is the
We feel pain, pressure, and
the temptation to take our eye off the goal of winning others to Christ.
We’re too far into the race
to turn back, and the finish line is not yet in sight.
It’s here we learn to live
We do most of our spiritual
growing in the middle of the race.
I don’t know what you’re
going through today, but keep running.
The more obstacles you
overcome, the more sense your faith will make. And Jesus waits at the finish
line with your crown in His hand.