Refusing To Give Up!
11/12/2015

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)

This next Thursday I will be eagerly monitoring the 48th running of the Baja 1000 Off-Road Race via live tracking on my laptop computer.  I love watching this race unfold each year as it brings back great memories of my racing this event—So much so that I can actually feel the excitement and adrenaline pumping as if I were competing again.

Every year I find myself listening to the radio chatter, including the frantic voices from pit crews and family members who are attempting to find their missing racers.  Throughout the night there are always amazing stories of people who had a very strong will to finish—overcoming accidents by having their pit crews rebuild their damaged race vehicles, allowing them to soldier on. 

I think for some, the thought of not finishing this grueling event is too much to bear, and these people who will ultimately finish will have something in common—they will have competed with great intensity and determination; they will have had a great plan, and they will have refused to give up.  

I believe as Christian men and women we can learn from this amazing endurance race, because we are competing every day in our own endurance race we call life.  Just as these racers do, we too will encounter difficulties, problems, setbacks, and even a certain amount of failure, but we must keep pressing on; we must choose to never give up.  Our route to success must include a great plan and a great support team, just as these racers will have.  We must have clearly defined objectives and be focused on accomplishing them.  The great news is that we have been given the great plan needed, and it is within the pages of our Bibles.   Here are some basics of this plan that each of us should know.

·      We must run our life in such a way as to get the prize.  We do this by running straight on the course laid out by God—the one leading directly to our goal of winning an imperishable crown (1 Cor. 9:24-27).  We must guard ourselves against anything potentially harmful to this goal, by disciplining our body.

·      We must seek to do good to everyone, and we must never become weary of doing good, knowing that as we sow to the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-10).

·      We must be prepared for the battles we will encounter with the enemy by putting on our protective armor each day, and by praying continuously.  Having done all to stand against the enemy’s schemes, we must stand (Eph. 6:10-20; 1 Thess. 5:17).

·      We must press forward to the day we will become everything God intends for us to be, and we must guard ourselves against focusing on our past mistakes. We must guard ourselves from becoming discouraged by keeping our eyes on the prize, and by taking every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5; Phil. 3:12-14).

·      We must entrust God’s word to people who will be faithful to teach others.  We must endure hardship and guard ourselves against getting involved in worldly affairs (2 Tim. 2:1-13).

·      We must determine to show others the same grace (unmerited favor) and mercy that God has shown us.  We must follow God’s Word and remember He will remain faithful to us in His promises (2 Tim. 2:13).

God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:6), and He will guide us through every section of this racecourse called life.  Let’s run this race with a purpose, and no matter what happens—no matter how hard it gets—don’t give up!

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Corinthians 9:24, how are we to run the race of life?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you running just to compete with others, or are you running in a way to finish strong and receive an imperishable crown?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Focus on how you will choose to run this race by following the course God has laid out and by sticking to it.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for marking the course well.  Help me to stay the course and to finish this race well.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 


Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000