Monday, September 6, 2010

Running to Get the Prize

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  –I Corinthians 9:24 
If you have ever participated in or at least watched a marathon, you will notice that spectators on the sidelines frequently hand out cups of water to the runners.  As competitors run by, people are there to hold out to them these cups full of water which refreshes the runners as they run the race.  As I have pondered this I am brought back to what the Scripture says about the Christian life being akin to running a race.  We are called to run our race with integrity, commitment, and discipline.  As the Bible says, we run in such as way as to get the prize –  that being eternal life with the Lord.

Like those holding out cups of cool water to the runners, we also have many blessings along the way as we run the race.  Many times the blessings come from unexpected sources.  They just appear before us and we are refreshed as we pass by.  The blessings can come in the form of a kind word from someone, an encouraging note, a favorite song on the radio, a phone call from an old friend, or a feeling of peace that comes when we need it the most.  All of these are like those refreshing cups of water that bring strength to us during troubled times.  When these seemingly small blessings come, don’t take them for granted or downplay their importance.  These are given to us from the hand of God; take them seriously, give thanks, and enjoy the blessings they provide. 

Those blessings that will come can empower us to keep on running and to not give up.  We are challenged in Scripture to run like those who are expecting to win the race.  That means that we will not settle for anything less than total commitment.  Let us not fall prey to an attitude that settles for a half-hearted approach to faith in Christ.  Run all out and give it all we have with the strength that the Lord provides.

Whatever you are facing today, stand firm and do not be discouraged.  Keep moving forward and do not give up.  Christ is near and He will send a blessing your way to encourage you today.  Somewhere today the Lord will hold out a cup of water in the form of a blessing.  When it comes reach out for it and receive it gladly.
Keep on running.  There are many blessings to be shared along the way.  Take time to be thankful for them.  Remember; a prize is waiting.  Keep going!

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