Running the race of life in 2009

As we are now officially in 2009, we need to remember that are running a spiritual race.

In Acts 20, we find the apostle’s Paul’s words to the leaders of the church in Ephesus. These were things that really mattered to the great apostle.

He writes in verse 24,  “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord.”

Paul used the analogy of a runner in a race many times in his writings. Each one of these instances remind us of a different aspect of running the race of life.

We must run to win.

1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize.”

In other words, you also must run in such a way that you will win! There is no point in running for second or third place. Go for the gold! Don’t settle for mediocrity as a follower of Jesus.

Understand, however, that your “opponents” are not fellow Christians. I am not running the race of life to beat you or anyone else. Our competitors are the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Be careful to not get off track.

Galatians 5:7 says, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”

Sometimes, due to poor choices in friends and companions, we get “off track.” They tend to drag us away from our commitment, instead of encouraging us in it. At the very least, they slow us down. At worst, they sidetrack us.

Don’t look back.

Philippians 3:14-16 reads, “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”

So, how are you doing?

How did you do in this regard last year? Have you gotten off track, or are you running for the gold?

Have any relationships or things slowed you down in your pursuit of God?

8 thoughts on “Running the race of life in 2009”

  1. John says:

    Pastor Laurie,
    Our family prays for your family and new grand child. I grew up without a father; I was 13 months when he left for Korea. MIA 6 December 1950 but with YOUR families love and committed to the Lord your grandchild will always know his earthly as the hero he that he is.

    I enjoy your radio broadcast when ever I’m traveling through a town that has a Christian station. They provide courage in a weak world.

    Please let Pastor McDonald (I’m also a listener of his program) know that we are praying for a strong and complete recovery. Having had a heart attack at 50 I decide to run the race of life for Christ, not in the best shape some days but always with the goal of finishing in first place for the Father Son and Holy Spirit.
    May the Lord keep you strong in faith, focused on the eternal live and engaged in the love of family.

  2. Diana says:

    Thank you for the encouragment of “running the race.” I have been back and forth for 16 years now with the father of my children. Every time we get back together, I fall away from God, because he likes to live a worldy life, drinking, etc. This hinders my sprit and draws me away from God.

    I am a new creation now. We were never married nor does he desire to marry, Therefore, recently, I made a decision to move on for good and live for God, running the race. That is where I find my peace and fullfillment.

    Yes, I am going through a very difficult time presently, wondering if I am making the right decision (please keep me in prayer), but it has to be if I am making a decison to live for God and not for man, right?

  3. Valorie says:

    This message was for me. Sunday, I felt like the Lord was speaking directly to me. When I pray, I oftentimes imagine myself in a race. The Lord is just running with me and saying, “Keep your eyes on me.” Life is hard, really hard, but God is running with me. Thank you, Pastor Greg.

  4. Anne says:

    Speaking of races, I am still finishing up “Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners.” It not only helped me run my race last year, but has opened my eyes to many other things.

  5. Sandee says:

    I am still going for the gold. I have learned so much, thanks to all the resources you have put out there for us! And I am now able to share God’s Word so much easier! Thank you and God bless you!

  6. RJ says:

    Pastor Greg,

    I loved the message Sunday and the recap on this blog. Your insights really ministered to me. It was awesome to hear you teach on this, because God put it on my heart two weeks ago to teach a similar message to the high schoolers at Orangecrest for our High School study, based on Philippians 3:12-14 and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. It was a great study to remind them and myself about pressing on toward the upward call of God in 2009; growing more in His knowledge, sanctification, grace, and forgetting the past, looking toward the finish line to receive the prize in heaven, the completion of our salvation – reigning with Christ for eternity.

    Hope you have a great week! God bless, Pastor Greg.


  7. Pat says:

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for all you do. My eldest son is halfway through the 7th grade and running track. Since his mother and I broke up when he was just a baby, I don’t get to spend as much time with him as my other children. So I need all the help I can get. Casting around for a line in the rough seas of having an adolescent son who’s now entering a time of risk, I realized help was right at hand. With your great talent for understanding and explaining Christianity and what Jesus means to us, I sent him a link to your Daily Devotions. Thank you for all you do.

  8. Judy says:

    Thank you Pastor Greg for the encouragement you give.

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