October 9, 2017 · 5:43 AM
If you’ve never heard of an Iron Man race or been to one, the people who do it are incredible. The race starts off with a 2.4 mile open water swim. Then they ride a bike for over 112 miles. Once they’re done with that, they have to run a marathon. Did I mention that it all has to be done on the same day and within a certain timeframe? These men and women push their body’s to the limit like nothing I’ve ever seen. To me, they are the very picture of endurance.
In high school, i ran the mile. Yes, it was just one, and they called that endurance running! I still had to train and condition my body to be able to run four laps around the track at the fastest speed possible. I had to get my muscles to the level where they could maintain that speed for close to five minutes. I also had to condition my lungs to not get winded so I wouldn’t run out of breath in the race. It’s a far cry from an Iron Man, but I still had to train.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “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” (NLT). We each have our own race to run in life. Some of us will run a short distance, some will run a 5k, others a half marathon or a marathon, while others an Iron Man. Whatever race God has set before you, run with endurance and don’t compare your race to someone else’s.
There’s an old saying that goes, “It’s not the mountains ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” To run with endurance, and to run to win, we need to get rid of sin in our lives, even small ones. They keep us from running our race the way God wants us to. We must discipline our flesh and our spirit through prayer, reading God’s Word, and running alongside other believers to be able to endure the race we’ve been given. We each have a certain time frame within which we must run our race, so we need to run to win.
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Tagged as christian living, Christianity, Devotion, Devotional, encouragement, endurance running, iron man race, life race, run, running to win, running your race, sin, spiritual growth, spiritual race, strength
June 14, 2013 · 8:07 AM
I got to hear Kirk Franklin share his testimony last year. It was the first time I had seen him in person. He told the story of how he grew up without a father and how he always wanted to be there for his son. He told how his son ran track and he was watching him run a relay race. When the second guy on their team went to hand the baton to number three, he dropped the baton. The third guy picked it up and started heading for Kirk’s son.
When Kirk looked ahead at his son, who was now at a disadvantage, he didn’t see him give up. Instead he saw him readjusting his stance, timing the space between he and the other runners and preparing to receive that baton. When he finally got the baton, he ran as if he had a chance to win the race. He ran as fast as he could all the way to the finish line knowing he wouldn’t win.
That took character. Many of us would have jogged to the finish line. If we can’t win, what’s the point in trying that hard? No one in the crowd expected him to run that hard to the finish line. Well no one except his dad. His dad had instilled in him the value of never giving up. In a time when running fast didn’t really matter, the character that was taught to him came shining through.
You and I are in a race. I’m not talking about the race to the top of the corporate ladder. We’re in a race of faith. Paul likened our lives as Christians to race a few times. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul said we should run to win the prize. You shouldn’t slow to a jog just because someone you looked up to dropped the baton. You shouldn’t slow down because you may have dropped it.
The truth is that none of us have been handed a perfect baton in this race. None of us are capable of running with it without dropping it. It’s what we do when we receive a dropped baton or drop it ourselves that matters. The easy thing is to give up and say, “I tried, but there’s no use now. If they can’t carry it without dropping it, how can I?” The hard thing to do is to pick up that dirty baton, wipe it off and keep running like you will win.
I played a lot of sports in high school. One school we used to play had a banner up that said, “Sports don’t build character, they reveal it.” The same is true in the faith. What you do when you or so done else messes up reveals your faith. You have the ability to get forgiveness for your mistakes, to start running again and to do your best to not do that again. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect, it’s about getting back up and continuing to run after you’ve fallen or have been knocked down.
Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” What about you? Have you tripped recently? Are you jogging and taking it easy to the finish line? I want to encourage you to get up, pick up your baton and sprint towards the finish line. Run like you’re going to win, trust God for the victory. Don’t stay down when you trip. Get back up and join the race. The body of Christ is here to help you and your father is in the stands watching and cheering you on.
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Tagged as bible, Christian, daily devotional, Devotion, encouragement, fail, faith, fall, get back up, God, help, Jesus, race, relay race, run, sin
March 20, 2013 · 8:00 AM
This week, I’m doing a series on training for Godliness. Many Christians don’t look at the life they lead as a marathon and therefore don’t train their spirit to handle struggles that come. These lessons will provide you with the tools you need to keep your spirit strengthened for a lifetime. Our core scripture I Timothy 4:8. It says, “Physical Training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. (NLT)”
Links to previous parts Part 1 Part 2.
Proper nutrition is essential when in training. It will keep you strong and keep you going. You need to have a steady diet of God’s Word in you. Thats what will keep you strong in your faith and keep you going in the difficult times. When researching nutrition for a marathon, they recommended that your diet should consist of 65% complex carbohydrates, 25% unsaturated fats and 10% protein. As a Christian, I believe you should be getting 65% of your nutrition from your study of God’s Word and in prayer. It is important that you are feeding yourself.
You should get 25% from your church. It should not be the bulk of your diet. The food you get there should balance out what God is giving you personally. It should help give you more nutrition beyond what God is speaking to you. For too many of us, the only time our spirit gets nutrition is on Sunday morning. Your physical body won’t last long eating once a week and neither will your spirit man.
The final 10% should come from other trusted places. I recommend reading books or blogs on living a Christian life. There are a lot of places where you can get daily doses of God’s Word. Find books or blogs that challenge you to do more than you’re doing now. Some book authors I recommend are Mark Batterson, Chip Ingram, John Bevere and Max Lucado. These men write things that challenge me to grow and help change my perspective.
You will go no where if you get dehydrated. You must carry water with you and drink it often if you are running a marathon. Dehydration causes weakness, dizziness, confusion and sluggishness. Spiritual dehydration causes the same symptoms. If you are weak, you are vulnerable to attack. If you are dizzy or confused, it is easy to get lead astray. If you are sluggish, you should go to the ant and consider her ways according to Solomon! These things will slow and stop your spiritual growth. Just as dehydration physically is dangerous, it is more so to be dehydrated spiritually.
We all go through the dry times our lives. We must continuously pour the water of God’s word into our spirit. In the Parable of the Sower found in Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus talked of the seeds that fell among the rocks. It says, “But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. (NLT)” You need roots to get water. The water for your spirit is in God’s word. Dig deep into it and plant your roots in it so you can stay spiritually hydrated. If you don’t read the Bible much because you don’t speak personally in “thee’s” and “thou’s”, then read a different translation. I recommend the New Living Translation. It’s easy to understand and is in language that you speak.
Tomorrow we will look at how to avoid injury and some pre-training things you need to do before you really start training for Godliness.
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Tagged as bible, Devotional, exercise, fit, fitness, God, godliness, help, hope, hydration, Jesus, marathon, nutrition, run, spirit, spiritual