Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are you ready to run the race?

Hebrews 12:1-13
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
12-13 So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
Are you ready to run the race? Do you have on the right “attire” to run the race for God? What do you need to do get ready?

A few weeks ago one of our Pastors shared a sermon on Running without Fainting. Here are the steps that we need to do to prepare ourselves for the race.

YOU must fill in the blanks- what is it that you need to do to prepare?

1. Remove __________- What is it that distracts you from God? What gets in your way of worshipping and serving Him?
What are your priorities?
Does it make you miss what God has for you?
Wait on the Lord- stop long enough to focus on God

Philippians 3: 12-14
Focused on the Goal

12-14 I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back

When we fix our eyes on God He gives us the power to turn away from those things that we don’t have the power to turn away from on our own.

2. Remember ___________- think about the reward at the end of the race.
There are 7,000 promises in the New Testament
If you’re starving spiritually- then feed yourself!!

YOU have to do it- You do need training but you still have to do it on your own to get it all!

YOU have to want it! Think about this- a deposit isn’t enough- you’ve got to be in it for the full commitment! Personal Commitment is what it takes to run this race.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24-25 You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
26-27 I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself

3. Resist __________- what discourages you or distracts you

~~~Satan’s greatest tool is causing discouragement in you, his second is causing procrastination!

God wants us to keep working! Keep running until we reach the finish line! He doesn’t want us to give up!

Galatians 6:9
9 So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit.

Psalm 94:19
The minute I said, "I'm slipping, I'm falling,"your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.

Philippians 1:6
6 There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

4. Renew _________ - need to renew ourselves daily!

Do you ever feel so tired that you just don’t think you can go on?

We need to MAKE time in our life to get renewed is God’s spirit! Renew yourself through His word! Through spending time with Him!

2 Corinthians 4:16
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Timothy 4:7
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith

Are you prepared for the Race? Are you training daily?

Are you being renewed DAILY! Do you make time for renewal? Next time I plan to write about what I’ve learned from listening to Joyce Meyer’s lessons on Spending Time with God!

God sure knows how to tie things in together! It continues to amaze me how faithful He is in providing the lessons that I need to learn.
It is truly A GOD THING!!

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