Run the Race

Philippians 3:12-16

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

I don’t like to run, actually, I despise it. You often see those number stickers on the back of cars with 13.1 or 26 showing the person has completed a half or full marathon. Mine would say 0.0. There was a time before I got married that Heather wanted to go running, so being a good fiancé I went with her. Now you have to understand my personality, I don’t like to lose. I will do anything short of cheating to make sure I win and this was no different. I started off sprinting as fast as I could. About half a mile in I found my self hunched over, barely breathing, and next thing I know Heather is passing me smiling. I wave her on , assuring her that I’ll catch up, eventually.

So often we view our walk with Jesus as a 100 yard dash, a fast paced sprint to the finish line, but it’s really a life long marathon. The mentality of a follower of Jesus is that of a long distance runner, not Usain Bolt at the olympics. It takes patience, practice, and work. Each one of us are a work in progress. We can’t yet say that we have obtained all Christ has for our lives. Scripture uses the word sanctification - meaning we are a progressive work of God to become more like Christ. So, our hope then, is both in this “practice run” and for our final goal of being with Christ.

The disciplines we use now as the Spirit sanctifies us enables us to continue the Kingdom work that Jesus began in his ministry as we wait for Jesus’ return and redemption of all creation. Right now we are experiencing the pains of childbirth mentioned in Romans- the earth is not as it was intended to be, but through Christ’s sanctification of our lives- displayed in our love of others, we can help bring a little heaven to earth as we join in Christ’s work of redemption in the here and now. Let’s run this race with longevity and endurance and see the long game of Shalom God has in store.

Reflect

  1. Are you running a 100-yard dash or are you seeing your walk with Christ as a marathon? 
  2. How can you help to bring a little bit of heaven to earth during this season?

Pray

Father, I come knowing I have faults and fall short so often. Thank you for sending Jesus to take my place and put sin to death. Right now I come asking that through the power of the Holy Spirit you could fix my eyes on the goal. That my life would be a race with the finish in mind, knowing that it requires the mentality of a long distance runner. Humble me so that I may see clearly, mold me into the image of Christ, and use me to bring glory and honor to your Kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Nick and Heather Viers, March 30, 2020
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Zac Holt - March 30th, 2020 at 6:45am

Great stuff man, thanks Nick!

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