Run Like A Winner

9th May

“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 honour beside God’s throne.”

Hebrew 12:1-2

Usain Bolt can take pride in the fact that he is the recorded ‘fastest man on this earth’. He trained hard, most probably sacrificed many things, all for the sake of perfecting his sport and becoming the world’s best champion. Did you know that we too are in a race, the race of life. Yet this is not a race that needs to be won, in terms of finishing the fastest. This race is won with patience, integrity and God-like living. Our ‘training’ is imitating Christ in all we do, exercising spiritually (praying, worshipping and reading His word), sacrificing the empty pleasures of sin and living for Jesus wherever we are.

The most comforting thing, is that we can all be winners and be crowned champions. In fact we are already on the winning side. Moreover, when we feel like giving up we can look to those who have gone before us as our inspiration, ‘the Hero’s of faith’ mentioned in Hebrews, chapter 11; people who were just like us, warts and all, people who fell down but got back up, and persevered to the very end. Yet above all else, we can look to Jesus, who came to this earth, ran the race of life and completed it with excellence. He now sits championing us on, running by our side, encouraging us along the way and being our best supporter.

Wherever you are, re-focus on Jesus, fix your eyes on Him and press on. If you have fallen, don’t give up, instead, get back up. In addition, if there is something that is causing you to stumble, get rid of it. Give it to Jesus. Let the joy of what awaits us give us a new burst of energy. May we all run together, encouraging one another, keeping our eyes on the Author and Finisher of life itself. For what joy awaits those who finish well.

Don’t Give up

24th – 26th February

Weekend Edition

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you can trust those who have taught you. You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.”

2 Timothy 3:14-15

Don’t give up. Don’t let this world dictate how you should live, but rather stand firm in the knowledge of who you are in Christ and what His word says about you. God’s word is so powerful that even 2000 years after it was written, it is still impacting people’s lives. Many have tried to destroy it, tear it apart and say it’s worthless, yet nothing could be further from the truth. His word is as real and alive today as it was when it was written. It is not empty words but life giving truth. Even when we see calamity and disaster around us, God’s word is the sure foundation on which our hope rests. It gives us the surety to trust in Jesus Christ and wisdom to receive the truth and gift of salvation.

Paul’s final encouragement to his young disciple Timothy, was to not abandon God’s word but to stay steadfast and faithful to the things he had been taught through the scriptures. Most probably it was his mother and grandmother who educated him in the scriptures, as referenced in 2 Timothy 1:5. Yet whoever it was that did teach him, he clearly had a deep reverence for the word of God and was also trusted by Paul. Today we too are encouraged to trust in what we have read and been taught and hold firm to God’s word. May His word strengthen you today, may it be a source of wisdom and hope for you too. May it stand as a direction post to Jesus and His salvation, His grace and His love. May you know all that Jesus has for your life. May His word give you strength to remain faithful.

Stand Firm In Your Faith

21st -22ndJune

Weekend Edition

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love!”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

This morning, as I sat aside, I noticed a small ant carrying something 3 times it size. As it meandered its way over the rocky flower bed en route to the whole in the ground that they call home, it struggled to keep hold of this object. Yet it did not give up. At one point there was a bigger stone that this small ant came across (it probably was like a mountain to this ant). The object he was carrying was so heavy that the ant couldn’t find a way to carry it over the stone. The ant came at it from all different angles. He tried pulling it, pushing it, and dragging it until eventually he managed to get it over the stone and to its home. I was so humbled seeing this and was greatly encouraged.

We too go through so many trials in our lifetime, carry burdens and problems which sometimes seem so much bigger than us, yet we have an advantage. We have a God who is willing us on, who wants to carry our burdens and who make our path straight. Sometimes we needlessly fight our way through difficulties rather than relying on Jesus to make our path straight and remove our obstacles for us.

We need to take courage than when hardships come in our lives, we don’t need to give up or fight in our own strength. We can stand firm, be courageous and strong. Yet our courage, strength and faith all comes from being in the presence of God, resourced by His Holy Spirit and guided by His power. We can stand firm in our faith and we don’t need to give into the enemy. We can be like that small ant, when faced with situations bigger than ourselves, persevere and reap the reward of endurance. Don’t give up. Be bold and courageous and put your trust and hope in the God who created the world.