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Run Hard

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photo credit: Alessandro Pautasso

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil 3:14

The 17th century preacher Thomas Watson said that the way from earth to heaven is not easy, and he is so right. Our life is filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, seasons that seems peaceful and easy, and seasons that are laborious and tiresome. We all know what it is like to be overwhelmed with all that we have to do or be in the midst of a strained relationship. Life is not easy.

Paul knew all about these hardships. In fact, he wrote the book of Philippians while in prison, but his eyes were so focused on Jesus that this book turned out to be one of the most encouraging and joyful letters he wrote.

The Bible likes to compare our life to a race. 1 Cor. 9:24 challenges us to “run in such a way as to get the prize!” Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “run with patience the race that is set before us.” Psalm 119:32 says that we should, “run the way of [God’s] commandments.” And our verse for today, Phil 3:14, reminds us to press on towards the goal and a prize.

The Race has a Specific Path

In every race there is a path that is taken. Let’s make sure we are not running aimlessly or without purpose. The path we are to run on is one of obedience and sanctification. It is one that is filled with holiness and communion with God. All other paths are filled with worldliness that will weigh us down and sins that will entangle our legs and make us fall.

The Race is Hard

The race of Christianity is hard. We are to strive for the finish line. Striving implies hard work and diligence.

 “My soul follows hard after God,” Psalm 63:8.

Do we do this? Do we follow hard after God? There is no room for laziness, distractions or procrastination. Lists, wishes, and daydreams won’t cause us to win the prize.

Slumbering saints!
What an incongruity!
Taking their ease, while threatened by danger!
Rusting, instead of wearing out in His service!
Trifling away opportunities to glorify their Savior, instead of redeeming the time!
A.W. Pink

The Race is Short

The race is short. Years pass quickly and seasons come and go. Our time on earth is not long, especially when we ompare it to eternity, and while the devil will try to distract us with all the shiny things this world offers we must stay focused.

“When you kill time, remember that is has no resurrection.”
A. W. Tozer

We should also be encouraged that since time is short our suffering will also be short in light of eternity. This does not make suffering easy, but it means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It is but awhile, Christians, and you shall be finished wrestling, weeping, and praying, and you shall reap the fruit of all your prayers. It is but awhile, and you shall be finished suffering and be among “the spirits of just men made perfect.”
Thomas Watson

The Race has a Prize

As with most races there is a prize for those who finish. It is the same within Christianity but there isn’t just one winner. All who finish will receive a reward, a prize that is so precious it is compared to a crown.

 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:8

The Christian race is one filled with battles, uphill struggles, falls and distractions but Jesus runs with us and therefore it is also filled with peace, joy, growth, and the assurance that it will end and there will be a prize.

Let this be a year where we pray with Solomon, “Draw me—and I will run after You.” Song of Solomon 1:4

Looking To Jesus,
jen-sig

 

 

jenthorn.com

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Comments

  1. Today’s message really speaks to me. Thank you!

  2. “The path we are to run on is one of obedience and sanctification. It is one that is filled with holiness and communion with God.”
    This is the path I want to be on. Thank you for your words today that reminded me that this will not be an easy race but the reward is worth it.

    This was another strong quote I needed to hear this morning.
    “When you kill time, remember that is has no resurrection.” A. W. Tozer
    Life is short and I should invest my time in things that will last for eternity.

  3. Great support!

  4. Today’s Scripture and blog post speaks to me right in my heart! It is exactly what I needed after this entire week of being Intentionally Focused. I am grateful to you all for the magnificent Bible Study!
    God has richly continued to bless my life through you all!

  5. Thank you, I needed to be reminded that I am a work in progress. This week, I noticed how I’ve struggled when focusing on my circumstances and past failures. I’ve been reminded to fix my eyes on Jesus and give everything that worries me to Him. He loves us and gave Himself for us! Thank you for your prayers.

    • Yes, we are a work in progress, I need to be reminded of this all the time because I want to have it all together NOW, and I don’t. :)

    • AMEN, AMEN! Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

  6. AMEN, AMEN

  7. Kari adams says:

    I have been so blessed this first week of the study! God is doing a new work in me and my family. Here is a song link we sometimes sing at church by Bryan and Katie Torwalt that God brought to my heart as I did the study this morning: Nothing holding me back.

    http://youtu.be/nFbMvFdRDvg

  8. Jamie ward says:

    Loving this study and community! I am intentionally focused! Thank you!

  9. What great reminders for today! Thank you. :-)

  10. I am loving this study right along w/ Courtney’s Women Living Well study. I have been so focused since it began. Praying that it continues beyond the study. Praying for you ladies and all the ladies participating.

  11. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you! :)

  12. I am so glad I found this site. It was mentioned by Joan Fricker in her blog.
    I am telling all my Bible Study group about it. Thanks for your message.

  13. Thank you, Jen!

    P.S: I just read your bio, and we are the same person when it comes to what you like, dislike, spend your time doing and what God is teaching you in this season of life :)

  14. This week has been an amazing week of study. Learning and being encouraged to persevere, press on, and imitate God as dear children. I am looking forward to next week!

  15. Wow, this weeks study has been amazing, thank you! So much wisdom & encouragement speaking into my life, thank you!

  16. One thing that hit me right away about the verse was “the race that is set before us”. HE gave me the race I am to run. It’s my race alone. I am not supposed to run yours or wish I had yours. The Lord of all creation set the “race” in front of me!
    The second thing that clobbered me, was the quote about killing time. AUGGHH! sooo true, sooo convicting (even as I type this out on the computer) Thanks for your thoughts and your study. Lovin’ it <3

  17. Y’all just don’t know what a huge blessing this study has already been in my life. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Here is what God has already shown me this week: http://wp.me/p2Xnc5-hw

  18. Diane M Barney says:

    Excellent message. This week I have been struggling with exhaustion. I’m taking college courses full time. Doing three on line Bible studies as well as car pooling my teenage son to and from work. I’ve been feeling really worn out. I realize though there is a prizefighter for those who run the race as to win the prize in the end the rewards will be great. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. I’ve never heard that A.W. Tozer quote, that’s powerful. I feel like I should take up running since starting this study! LOL Too bad I bought an elliptical instead of a treadmill last fall. :) Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  20. Thank you Jen for your post!!! Loved this line:

    The Christian race is one filled with battles, uphill struggles, falls and distractions but Jesus runs with us and therefore it is also filled with peace, joy, growth, and the assurance that it will end and there will be a prize.

    So thankful for a Savior who not only helps us but runs beside us in our race….we truly are not alone! What a comfort that is to my heart when my race gets hard!:)

  21. I am up early in West Africa, so no Monday post yet, but feel the need to share here. I am so excited to read these verses this morning as I am just heading into a full weeke of having my hubby gone. i am in a lonely season of life, so whne he’s gone I really feel alone. I have been dreading this week. This morning I read about God seeking ou the desert, deserted, isolated and lonely places often in order to pray. Wow to read this in this context is beautiful. I am embracing this week and this time in my life this morning as a time to draw near to Him. Thank you!

  22. I am up early in West Africa, so no Monday post yet, but feel the need to share here. I am so excited to read these verses this morning as I am just heading into a full weeke of having my hubby gone. i am in a lonely season of life, so whne he’s gone I really feel alone. I have been dreading this week. This morning I read about God seeking ou the desert, deserted, isolated and lonely places often in order to pray. Wow to read this in this context is beautiful. I am embracing this week and this time in my life this morning as a time to draw near to Him. Thank you for this!

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