Sunday, April 16, 2017

Your Own Race

Your Own Race
April 17, 2017
Hebrews 12:1 ". . . And let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. . ."

Jesus was, when He breathed His last on the cross He said that it is finished. When He said that, it was in reference to many things: the plan God had for His life, His suffering on the cross, the sacrifice for all sin, His human walk upon the earth, the need to sacrifice animals. It was the culmination of so many things, but most importantly for Him, it was the completion of the race set before Jesus. The life of Jesus was set in motion and Jesus finished all that was required of Him as part of the Lord's design from the beginning with Adam and Eve, to the permanent redemption of all souls. It must be noted that not EVERYTHING was finished, because there was and is a great deal of work to do.  If everything was finished, then you and I would have no need for suffering yet still on this earth. No, our plan, our part in God's design is still before us and none of us can say it is finished until we breath our last.

The author of Hebrews says that each of us must run our own race. He uses the analogy of a race, because there is a beginning and an end. This represents your life, the start of it on this earth and end of it when you die. Your finish line is possibly a great deal off, far into the future. You are required to run your race with endurance, because your work is not done yet. It isn't finished for you. Thankfully, your salvation was already bought and paid for, but your work might only have begun, or the race in front of you might be very long. You are to run that race, the rest of your life, with perseverance. Jesus persevered when it was the most painful. Your life, though possibly difficult, will mostly likely be void of the crucifixion that Jesus endured as part of his race. Your race, though, is different. It is different from your brother's, it is different from your sister's, and it is different from mine. Most Christians, however, look at the race of those around and think their own race should be easier. No one's race is easy and none is impossible, only different.

Your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior is the start of your faith, and the rest of your life is meant to perfect that faith on your own endurance race. It won't be easy and you will certainly want to quit many, many times over. Jesus thought about quitting in the Garden before Judas betrayed Him. Nonetheless, Jesus persevered, and continued His race to the point when He could say it was finished. Your life isn't over yet, and your race is in the present, this very day of struggle. Judas failed his race; he dropped out. You are certainly welcome to drop out, but then your life might end up with the likes of Judas in Hell.

While you can quit, I'm telling you that you really can't quit now; it just wouldn't be worth it. You know the truth and you know your life is not about you. The race is long, and hard, filled with obstacles and pain of every kind imaginable. Some will cheer you on and some will forget they knew you, denying you like Peter did the Lord. There will be moments of rain and moments of sunshine and warmth. It will be worth it, though, in the end, when you can say it is finished. You are on your own race, even if you don't feel like you're doing very well. Keep going, keep running, keep moving forward. Jesus promises the reward waiting for you at the end, but you're not there yet. Your faith isn't made perfect yet, that's done at the finish line. Others have done it and you can, too.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 19:29, Luke 14:33, John 19:30, Phil 3:1-4:1, Heb 12:1-3

No comments: