The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

02/06/2008

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The Race Of Life


"Therefore, since we have a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Heb. 12:1)

This is one of my favorite scriptures used in the Bible to illustrate and describe the Christian life. It is one in which the Christian is compared to a runner in a race. The Hebrew writer probably had in mind the Greek games. Running was included and was always a favorite, as it is today. Eager spectators would crowd the amphitheater to watch the athletes run and compete. The runners were in wonderful physical condition. The Greeks knew the importance of a rigorous training to prepare for a race. They also knew about a good diet and proper rest.

In our arena, the arena of life, each of us is running our race on the course that God has planned for us...."and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." We first need to get on a rigorous "spiritual fitness" program in order to run it well. We then need a good, properly balanced "spiritual diet" The basic food is the Word of God. When tempted by Satan, Jesus replied, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).

A vigorous, consistent prayer life is next on our training schedule. It will give us the inner calm needed to stay on our program. It will help us to deal with the those things that would side-track us from our program, and help us face them with courage. The exercise of faith also strengthens us for the race. An inadequate training program will just not condition us properly.

Every weight and sin impeding our spiritual progress must be relinquished. They come in all sizes, shapes and forms...career, ambitions, money, habits, friends, despondency, pride, envy, anger...All or some of these may weigh us down. Though they may not be the same for all of us, any obstacle in our lives that affects our relationship with the Lord must be removed.

The term "throw off" is a deliberate act on our part. When compared to our friendship with Jesus and the promise of eternity with Him, all non-essentials must be "thrown off." Take time today to check on your own personal race. Are you on the right spiritual fitness program? Is your spiritual diet good? How about rest and exercise? Are there any obstacles that need to be removed? Today is part of our race of life.

Have a Great Run.....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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