Make It Count
I watched as Norwegian 400 Meter hurdler Karsten Warholm won the gold last night and broke his own world record.....again. The run was a work of beauty as he ran down guys ahead of him on the back stretch and held off the favorite from the United States to win and break his own world record. What a race. His jubiliation was extremely telling as he knew that all his hard work and perseverance had paid off. 1 Corinthians 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. We are in a race in life and to run that race takes a great amount of training and learning. In Hebrews, the scripture says in Chapter 12: 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
That is the challenge for each of us. You might say our "Life Olympics" challenge. Fresh water comes from a moving stream and stagnant water becomes poison after a while. Keep moving. We need to strip off every weight that keeps us from running the race to the fullest. That means if there is anything between us and God's plans for our lives we need to get rid of it so we can clearly run to victory.
"How do I do this?" Hebrews 12 goes on to say in verse 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. In other words, take your eyes off of Jesus and you lose your focus and direction. So...don't do that!!! It's crazy for us to know that Jesus won the victory and now we live a defeated life? This cannot happen, see we begin to run and grow in our wisdom from God's Word and the believer we see six months down the road is different than the believer of today. After all that training you are probably wondering when we get the gold medal? When you lead someone to Jesus. Then you can rejoice because all of the training and all of the growth has been worth it all.
The reward is mentioned in the above 1 Corinthian verse 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
Our lives are centered on Christ and Him alone and our "Life Olympics" are held, not every four years, but moment by moment as we run the race for Jesus. Galatians 6:8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith. Jesus is our motivation and He gives us the strength and power to run this race for Him and Him alone. The only way to make your life count is to run the race for Him and then the reward will be most exceptional!!! Keep on going because each day is a blessing that is given to us by God.
I realized this even more after I found out there was a chance I had cancer in my left vocal cord. I have been singing for over 50 years and now I was going to lose that? The prayers went up and the Lord's help came down. After a vocal cord stripping and a vocal cord scraping the biopsy came back benign, and I can still sing. Up to that point I had to do some self evaluation and the report was not what it should have been in some areas in my life. Not knowing what the future holds helps us refocus on one thing or another and my focus went to my source, Jesus. This experience made me realize that some of my life goals had been put on hold because of doubt and distractions, so I changed that situation and fired up the "glory engine" again, so here we go. Back in the race!!
Life is fleeting whether we have a scary diagnosis or not, so live it to the fullest for Jesus and He will make every day count. Ephesians 5:16 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. I have a renewed commitment to my song writing, my personal witnessing, and my calling, and I'm gonna finish this race leaving nothing behind. The chains that living in this hopeless world have put on me are falling off one by one and I just have to say Praise Jesus!!! Keep on looking ahead and MAKE IT COUNT! Proverbs 4:25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 26 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
The Pilgrimage Continues.....