Its A Marathon

“…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…”Hebrews 12: 1 (AMP)

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Our Christian life is likened to a race. We need to run with ‘patient endurance’. It’s not a sprint to the finish, but more like a marathon. Along the way we should encourage each other, for so often we may feel like giving up, but we need to keep pressing on.

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No athlete wears heavy clothing and weights while running their race. Likewise, in the spiritual, we also need to be dressed appropriately for the race, and throw off the things that would hold us back and weigh us down, so that we may be able to finish the race.

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Another interesting point I get from this verse, is that it says to run the appointed course of the race that is set before us. That speaks to me of the race we are running being our race, we are not to run somebody else’s race. With endurance, let us run our race,
Pressing forward with a steady pace.

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M.S. Lowndes

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A Time To Believe

To believe is to know that every day is a new beginning.

Is to trust that miracles happen,

and dreams really do come true.
To believe is to see angels

dancing among the clouds,

To know the wonder of a stardust sky

and the wisdom of the man in the moon.
To believe is to know the value of a nurturing heart,

The innocence of a child’s eyes

and the beauty of an aging hand,

for it is through their teachings we learn to love.
To believe is to find the strength

and courage that lies within us

When it’s time to pick up

the pieces and begin again.
To believe is to know

we are not alone,

That life is a gift

and this is our time to cherish it.
To believe is to know

that wonderful surprises are just

waiting to happen,

And all our hopes and dreams are within reach.
If only we believe.
B. J.  Mortbitzer

Spiritual Lesson From Pain

How little we know what God has in store
As daily he blesses our lives more and more.
I’ve lived many years and I’ve learned many things,
But today I have grown new spiritual wings. . .
For pain has a way of broadening our viewimages2449jzqd
And bringing us closer in sympathy, too,
To those who are living in constant pain
And trying somehow to bravely sustain
The faith and endurance to keep on trying
When they almost welcome the peace of dying. . .
Without this experience I would have lived and died
Without fathoming the pain of Christ crucified,
For none of us knows what pain is all about
Until our spiritual wings start to sprout.
So thank you, God, for the gift you sent
To teach me that pain’s Heaven-sent.

Helen Steiner Rice

Of Milk and Meat

I’ve been deep in thought over the last while. The Word of God continues to challenge me and I hope it does the same for you. My thoughts have been around a number of tough issues and I’m really taking strain as I try to digest it all. For starters, the writer of of-milk-and-meat.jpgHebrews has challenged me in the area of my spiritual maturity. In Chapter 5, the question is whether or not we are still stuck suckling on the milk of the truth about Jesus. Verse 13 says: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”. Where am I in all of this? Do I keep going around and around with my baby bottle in my mouth, or is my chin carrying traces of the pepper sauce that smothered my medium-rare filet mignon? Does my behaviour suggest I know what obedience to God is all about and am therefore living it daily? If I were just starting on my road with Christ, this would be a proper place to start, but I’m more than a decade down the narrow path, and I’m expecting a lot of myself. I think God expects a lot from all of us. His expectations will always seem high, because God is all about us reaching to beyond the boundaries we set up for ourselves. Moses was just tending sheep when he spotted the burning bush. He was in the desert, totally out of the action, and the next thing he was standing before one of the greatest rulers of his time, telling him to let go of the slaves that were building monuments to satisfy his very vanity. God was expecting a lot, putting him before Pharaoh. We know the history: The seemingly impossible not only became possible, it was actually achieved. Heaven came to earth and history was forever changed.

I need a reminder every now and again, particularly when times are tough. Those are the moments I get a bit spiritually childish. When the tyre really hits the tarmac, I’ve found myself low on faith and high on suspicion of God’s true motives. That’s milky madness right there. How can I teach if I’m not going to believe what I’m saying? How embarrassing. I could just as well be sucking on a pacifier in broad daylight. No Brad, c’mon!

A teach affects eternity, he can never tell where his influences stops.

The Moses example seems a big one to use in this context. The Exodus story is hardly a fair comparison to what you and I might be challenged to do, but in principle, it’s really the same: Take God on His word, trust that He’ll keep His promises, suck it up and do what seems impossible and then see God move. That seems to me what true obedience to God is all about. I can forever just live in the safe zone and go through the motions, but where’s the testimony of true faith in that? That’s the right place to start, but it’s not where we need to end. Moses might have been content to herd sheep, but God had other plans. If God calls you, you need to answer, or face the chance of missing out. Let’s avail ourselves to the opportunity to show our Father our true obedience, to move forward in our relationship with Him and sink our teeth into something spiritually meaty. Based on verse 12 then, we need to be showing the kind of faith that brings the most amazing testimonies, because they become the springboard that others could use to be shot to even greater spiritual heights. Isn’t that what true teaching is all about? I immediately think of Moses and Joshua. Henry Brooks Adams said: ‘A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.’ Let us be liberated by true obedience to a God who has never dreamed small. If we are to face something seemingly impossible, who better to have by our side than God Almighty, right? So, are you ready? Hang on!

 

 

Life has its tests

“…Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you…” 1 Peter 4:12 AMP

 

Life has times of hardship, struggles, trials, temptations, despair, loneliness and heartbreak. We all go through times like these from time to time. There is a saying that goes ‘Life is a bed of Roses’ implying it’s easy and sweet. There’s probably a lot of truth in that – considering the ‘thorns’, but it’s far from easy and sweet. A prick can be painful! God can use what we go through to rely on Him more and build our character to be Christ-like.
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So yes, I guess life can be like a bed of roses – but we need to be mindful of the thorns.

There are tests in life, I know
The thorns are there, but so is the rose.

M. S. Lowndes

The Year Before Us

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STANDING at the portal of the opening year,
Words of comfort meet us, hushing every fear;
Spoken through the silence by our Father’s voice,
Tender, strong and faithful, making us rejoice.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

“I, the Lord, am with thee, be thou not afraid;
I will help and strengthen, be thou not dismayed.
Yea, I will uphold thee with Mine own right hand;
Thou art called and chosen in My sight to stand.”
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

For the years before us, oh, what rich supplies!
For the poor and needy, living streams shall rise;
For the sad and mournful, shall His grace abound;
For the faint and feeble, perfect strength be found.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

He will never fail us, He will not forsake;
His eternal covenant He will never break;
Resting on His promise, what have we to fear?
God is all-sufficient for the coming year.
Onward, then, and fear not, children of the day;
For His Word shall never, never pass away.

Daily Heavenly Manna