Friday, January 11, 2008

2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)-“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Endurance-the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.

Today starts the day the rubber hits the road for us. It’s past Christmas and now almost halfway into the first month of a new year. A lot of us have set a new goal or resolved to change something in ourselves with the New Year. We came out the gate at a fast gallop; making bold strides.

Now is when it gets tough. See, you are just starting to realize that what was a joyful resolution almost 2 weeks ago is something that you may actually have to WORK toward attaining. You may have to expend more energy than you initially considered when you started. Instead of building up gradually, and watching the development come over time, you wanted to make an instant change.

Now, you’re getting tired. You didn’t realize how fast you were sprinting, did you?

We each have a race to run. We each have something we need to endure. It’s said that the race is not to the swift, but to the strong; the one who can keep up a pace over the entire course.

I’ve been married for 18 years now. Each day is a new day. Has this marriage lasted because I’m a great husband? Nope, not even. Has it lasted because my wife Becky is a great wife? Wrong again. We’re both humans, and we both have weaknesses. It’s lasted because we have made a choice to endure.

We are still running. We may not look like we run every day, but we do. I love it when we get the, “You’ve been married how long? To the same person?” question. It’s a sign of the world we live in.

Now, I don’t poke fun at those of you who have married and divorced or aren’t married at all. I give you an example IN MY LIFE of running the race. You have something in your life that you need to keep at the forefront; some race you are running with God to finish.

Make no mistake; it’s not going to be easy. The exciting, fresh days during the start make way later on for the common. You get to the point that the newness may have worn down some, and the business of living life intrudes sharply on your focus.

It’s at that time it is important for us to settle in for the long haul. We need to determine that God will finish what He started in our lives, and nothing will stop Him if we keep faith in Him.

Notice what I said, if we keep faith in Him. We can stop the Creator of all that is, dead in His tracks by our own stubborn refusal to heed Him and allow Him to lead us. He wants you to know that the humdrum is where you are most likely to see His glory. At least, that’s the way it is in my life.

Where are you now? Has the awe and size of the task before you stopped you in your tracks? Are you standing in front of the landscape that is your future, wondering how you are going to get through it all? Does the race course seem too long to finish?

Keep the faith, brothers and sisters, keep the faith. Get up each morning and realize that you have been given another day in this adventure called life. I can’t in good conscience tell you that everything will change and your life will be brand new. But I can tell you that if you ask God to show you His glory, He will do it.

But you have to prepare yourself to see it. Remember, sin cannot live in the presence of God. He is Righteousness, Truth, and Holiness. He is the Creator of the heavens and earth. He is the Almighty, Everlasting, and Wonderful God of the Universe.

And He loves you and me tremendously.

This is a path to greatness that not everyone walks on; they can’t because it’s too hard. It’s a narrow path that does not allow for you to veer off on your own. It’s designed that way on purpose. It keeps you close to Him and keeps you focused.

It’s not an easy road to walk; but God wouldn’t be God if He didn’t call us to walk this path. You know the saying, “If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.” Everybody is NOT doing it. And some who started the path turned back because they let the size of the task before them scare them away.

They lost sight of the size of their God, and concentrated on the size of their surroundings. I’ve done it; and recently too! We all have at some point. But it’s not something you have to dwell in. You don’t have to stay in it forever.

The race has started; the course is set. God’s not expecting you to sprint to the finish. He will set the pace if you let Him. You may think it’s too slow at first, but trust Him, He knows what He’s doing. He’s done this A LOT LONGER than you and I have.

Before you know it, you may look back just long enough to wonder how you got this far. And then, you’ll look around and realize that you never ran a race at this pace before. And you’ll feel a smile start to creep up on your face, as you realize that the obstacles you faced did nothing but increase your stamina.

Careful, you may actually begin to like running. Who knows what can happen then?

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

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