Steadfast

27 08 2015

DSC_1054Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10 (Amplified)

I admire people who can run long distances.  They seem to have the right balance of focus, technique and endurance to finish their course.  A marathon runner offers important lessons for each of us trying to make it. Their success is often based on consistency in their pace, their determination and their ability to endure the journey.  My prayer today is that God would create a heart in each of us that is based on His righteousness, with the determination to persevere and the firm direction to keep moving toward His purpose for our lives.

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.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT





A Fresh Start

31 12 2014

Newport_Sun_Set3Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  II Corinthians 5:17

A new year starts tomorrow.  It is a blessing to be able to turn the page and have fresh start.  I am thankful that God provides increments of time where we can start anew.  The 24 hours that make a day, the 7 days that comprise a week or the 12 months that make a year allow us to consider time in smaller doses that cumulatively make up our lifetime.  The ability to begin again in a new year is a special progression of time.  For many it is a time to celebrate and to consider a fresh start.

I am thankful for the year past and the year to come. We all get another chance to embark on a new year where we can seek to achieve God’s will in our lives.  It is a time to dedicate or rededicate our lives to Our Heavenly Father.  In Him, we receive a new chance and a fresh start to live in relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.  We all get another chance to focus on the “one another” commandments.  Love one another, Pray for One another, Be at Peace with Each Other and to Encourage one another.  We all get another chance to listen for God’s voice and to follow His leading.  He is speaking.  We all get to put bad habits aside and seek to run our race with more focus and determination to accomplish our purpose in Him.  I am thankful that we all get a fresh start.

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.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.   Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.  Hebrews 12:1-3





Finding Your Stride

13 02 2014

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3

Hebrews 12_1_3

I don’t like to run. I was never really fast and distance running never appealed to me on any level. Despite this fact, I have always admired individuals who could do it. One of my friends in High School was on the track team. Running is in his blood. To this day, he posts his times on online some 30 years later. I imagine that this keeps him both fit and happy.
Lately, I have been trying to find a comfortable marathon pace for my life. It seems that for a good period I was busy, busy, busy. All my time was accounted for and sometimes hours that should have been set aside for sleep and exercise, just were absorbed with more busy work. Even though I saw myself moving forward during this period, it turns out most of it was an exercise of running in circles. Not really making progress on the things that matter most. God’s Word compels us to run with endurance keeping Jesus as our focus. Things that cause us to sin or to do things contrary to His word and will for our lives should be dropped. These are the things that weigh us down and hinder us from living the life God has available to us. Looking to Him gives us focus, gives us direction and helps us to find the stride that will help us to endure until we cross the finish line.

All these many people who have had faith in God are around us like a cloud. Let us put everything out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should. Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us. Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect. He did not give up when He had to suffer shame and die on a cross. He knew of the joy that would be His later. Now He is sitting at the right side of God. Sinful men spoke words of hate against Christ. He was willing to take such shame from sinners.

Think of this so you will not get tired and give up.

Hebrews 12:1-3 NLV