Bible · Christian · Faith

Amble, run, or WALK!

I press on to reach the end of the race‘ (Philippians 3:14 NLT)

 Probably one of the first word many people think of when the word ‘race’ is mentioned is ‘marathon’, and throughout the world there are over 100 ‘marathon’ races every year.

The name ‘Marathon’ comes from the legend of a Greek messenger (Philippides), in 490 BC. It is said, that following a great battle, where the Persians had been defeated, he was sent from the battle-field of ‘Marathon’ to Athens to announce the victory. It is reported that he ran the entire distance, then burst into an assembly to proclaim their victory, then collapsed and died.

When the modern Olympics was inaugurated in 1896, Michel Bréal wanted to make the Olympic event popular, and so the ‘marathon race’ was born. This idea was supported by founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin; it was also well received by the Greeks. The distance of the race altered with every race, and was not standardised until 1924, when the distance of 26.22 mile (42.195 kilometres) was set.

As Christians, we know that our life is not a race, we do not have to achieve certain things in order to be saved. We were saved without doing anything; ‘God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners‘ (Romans 5:8 NLT).

There is nothing that we can do that will make God love us less, and there is nothing we can do to make him love us more.

How does it all work then?

God saved us [you] by his grace when you believed‘ (Ephesians 2:8 NLT), or to use different words, ‘by grace you have been saved through faith‘ (NIV).

It is nothing that we have done. We believe in the word of God, trust him, and we are saved. There is nothing that we could do, God did it all for us, with Jesus (John3:16).

Faith is not a race, it is a sedate walk.

God did not run around the Garden of Eden, ‘the sound of the LORD God walking‘ (Genesis 3:8 ESV).

When Abram and Lot separated, God did not say to Abram, ‘come on, run over there for a bit’, he said, ‘Arise, walk‘ (Genesis 13:17 ESV).

The Israelites were told to teach the next generation about God. ‘You shall teach them diligently… … … when you walk‘ (Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV).

When Jesus came and his ministry started, he said to John the Baptists disciples, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk‘ (Matthew 11:5 ESV).

To run a race, you must train. You cannot just enter a race like a marathon, it takes months if not year of practice and training, building up strength and muscle. But in a race, ‘all the runners run, but only one receives the prize‘ (1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV).

We do not race against other Christians, no-one will get a better prize for going to the Master earlier than us, we do not need to worry, there will be plenty of room.

How do we know this?

Jesus told his disciples, ‘Let not your heart be troubled… … In My Father’s house are many mansions… … I go to prepare a place for you‘ (John 14:1 & 2 italics mine).

We need to live and walk in the light, ‘The path of those who live right is like the early morning light. It gets brighter and brighter until the full light of day. But the path of the wicked is like a dark night‘ (Proverbs 4:18-19 ERV).

In his letter to Timothy, Paul says, ‘Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts, instead, pursue righteous living‘ (2 Timothy 2:22 NLT). In his previous letter, he said of Timothy, as we could say of many people we know, ‘But you Timothy (insert name), are a man (or woman) of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life‘ (1 Timothy 6:11 NLT), words of wisdom indeed.

But what are these ‘evil things’?

They are anything that takes the focus off from God, our Mighty, Awesome, Redeemer God, Saviour of the masses, and Friend.

They are the ways of the world, money, nice cars, pleasures of the world.

There is something that Paul told the Romans, which is probably more important to us these days, with all that is available, and how easy it is to get, with the internet making the world seem smaller and smaller each day. ‘I urge you… in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God‘ (Romans 12:1 NIV italics mine); but he does not stop there, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of the world‘ (v 2 NIV).

We need to set ourselves apart from the world, we need to be seen to be different, but we also need to be seen to be inviting. There needs to be something that interests others to come and talk to us to find out more. That needs to be the light of God shining through us, ‘You are the light of the world… … No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket‘ (Matthew 5:14 & 15 NLT). In the same way, we should not hide that fact that we follow Jesus, and that he is the only way for he told us so, ‘I am the way‘ (John 14:6 NLT italics mine).

Even during the storms in our life, we need not run off, the reason that God takes us through deep waters, is that the enemy cannot swim, ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… … they will not sweep over you‘ (Isaiah 43:2 NIV).

Faith is not a race, take time to enjoy being with God, be still and know him (Psalm 46:10). Take time to walk with the Master.

Relax and, ‘Walk by the spirit‘ (Galatians 5:16 NIV), and God says, ‘I will walk among you‘ (Leviticus 26:12 NIV).

 

IMG_0177

We are walking in the light of God,
we are walking in the light of God,
 we are walking in the light of God,
 we are walking in the light of God. (The light of God)

We are walking, (Walking)
we are walking (oh )
we are walking in the light of God.
We are walking, (Walking)
we are walking (oh,)
we are walking in the light of God.

Siyahamba (We are walking in the light of God)
Trad African song

 

downloadFather God, we thank you that you are indeed our Father. We thank you that you are a good, good Father. Help us not to run from things that are tests for us. Refine us with your love that we may be better able to serve you in our community. Help us to show the light of your love to others around us, that they may see a little of you, and want to know more. We know that we must train with your word daily, as an athlete trains for a race, Lord put a new eagerness within us to help us with this.
Lord we think of those who have died this week, may they find eternal rest with you. Be with the families left behind. May they seek you and find love, peace and rest in knowing You.

Amen

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s