Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Running The Race - 2. Ready Set Go

Whether you are a seasoned runner or a mum getting ready to heard the kids to the car in the pouring rain, you will have heard the starter making three calls before the runners take one step –Ready, Set, Go!

So what do we need to do as we prepare for and seek to “run the race marked out for us”? (Heb 12:1)

1. Get Ready
1 Peter 1:13 gives us a great picture of what is necessary and starts with the age old phrase ‘gird up your loins’ which might translate ‘hitch up your skirt’. The NIV reads “prepare your minds for action” and encourages us to remove anything that will hinder us from staying on course or completing the journey that lies ahead of us.

Getting ready ensures that we have everything we need to complete the task, finish the journey, run the race. We might need to let some things go, gain self control (v13), and take up some essential items so that we are ready to go.

Having our minds ready for action doesn’t mean just being prepared to move ahead, but being equipped for a fight if need be. It means keeping an eye out for potholes or wayward runners and having all we need to ensure our course stays true.

Are you ready? Are you holding on to something like unforgiveness or bitterness that is going to slow you down or take you off course? Are you busy comparing yourself to others or afraid of what they might think? Have you been filling your mind with your Heavenly Coach’s words to bring back to memory when the course gets tough?

2. Get Set

With our minds ready for action, its time to knuckle down and focus. 1 Peter 1:13 goes on to say “set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Remember Philippians 3:13-14? We are to have the prize, the finish at the forefront of our minds.

Where are you going? What are you trying to achieve? It’s good to have goals in life, but our ultimate goal is the life that we have a taste of now and get to experience fully when our time here on earth is up. Have the finish line at the forefront of your mind. Let every step you take and decision you make be made in the light of what is to come, not just what you experience in this moment. Jesus Christ is God, and He is coming back very soon. He has a plan for you and He wants you to join Him in sharing that good news with others.

3. Go!

So with the finish in mind, and everything you need for the journey, Go! Run! Finish!

Our heavenly prize has already been won for us. By the blood of Jesus we are counted as winners, but we still run with all our might because we have been called by our heavenly Coach to finish. We strive ‘not to confirm to our selfish desires, but to be holy in all that we do, because He who called us is holy.’ (1 Peter 1:15)

So we obey the truth that we have received, we seek to honour Him and please Him, and as His Spirit works in us and we have that love for others, we seek to follow the greatest command, repeated here “Love one another deeply, from the heart” (vs 22)

There are many signs of a race run for Christ, but the clearest testimony will be that of love. Jesus said “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35) And Jesus’ final command to His disciples is also to us: In your going, make disciples. (Matt 28:19)

As we run after Christ, we are to encourage others to follow too.

Are you ready to run?

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


This morning a friend of mine met Jesus.

She had been waiting for it for a while, but it came sooner than expected, and sooner than we had hoped. However, she was ready. After battling breast cancer for 5 years our gracious God chose to relieve her of her suffering and take her to be with Him.

In an instant she stepped out of her body, out of her hospital room and was in the presence of Jesus.

In an instant it will happen to us.

Whether our heart ceases to function or we get the privilege of meeting Jesus in the air. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52)

At any moment we could be standing in the presence of our Saviour and King.

That changes my perspective, changes my priorities and changes my passion.

It changes my perspective- The way I: think about today, enjoy relationships, talk to my kids, love my husband, respond to requests, care for the needy, pray to God.

It changes my priorities: I will play with my kids before I finish the housework, I will ask a friend how they are going instead of rushing off to run errands, I will enjoy the sunrise instead of sleeping in, I will stop and take in creation instead of speeding past

It changes my passion: If this is my last decade, last year, last month, last week, last day on earth, then I am going to make it count by investing in eternity. I am going to read my Bible which renews my perspective, I am going to pray more which changes my priorities to be more like His, and I am going to serve Him wherever I am which changes my passion.
Col 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if you were working for the Lord”

I am going to let Him fill me, use me, and change me, so that I can experience real life here on earth, and when I get to heaven I might even hear those words my friend heard today – “Welcome home, good and faithful servant”. But more so, I am going to share it with others so they can hear that too.

See you soon Steph…

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