The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/28/2009

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Go The Distance


"Blessed is the man who endures" (Jas. 1:12).

Many years ago I was playing in a faculty/student basketball game. Those were always fun...Early in the second half our vice principal thought it was time to make an appearance in the game. He had been a good athlete in years past, but was very overweight. He sprinted the length of the court about two or three times before he stopped, bent over and started gasping for breath. I was actually a little scared for him. Most of us were able to play the entire game because we were in better physical condition. The game was fun for us, but I am sure it was not fun for him. As a coach, I trained my athletes in both skill and endurance areas. If you are going to play the game, you should be good at it and have some fun.

Life calls on us to be people of endurance. The complete reading of today's verse says, "Blessed is the man who endures under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those that love Him." Our Christian character is tested many times throughout our lives. Some of those things, like the temptations around us,can be withstood if we are strong enough. They are tests of the enduring nature of our lives. Also the testing of affliction or illness that we seem to have no control of will become a test of our endurance. It is at these times that we must enlist the help of the Lord and our Christian friends. Just as endurance training in sports can be difficult, tiring and at times repetitious, we know its necessity for success. We don't want to be bent over in pain after just a bit of play...

Interestingly enough, even the good times in our lives can be a test of our endurance. If we let our successes "go to our heads," we can lose sight of the source. Just as no one likes a poor loser, I think that poor winners are even more intolerable! We must find within us the means to be humble in our successes, giving credit where credit is due. Is there a deep secret that will help us to endure? There is a way, but its not that big of a secret....Moses found it..."By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27) The game can be both more rewarding and more fun if we play it with endurance...

Have a wonderful day....Go the distance... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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