(Griffen, GA, USA)
Here is Tonya's Bible study on running the faith race - Training for the race of our life!
I am a 37 year old mother of one daughter. I am currently a pre-nursing student who is growing daily in the knowledge and wisdom of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Date of Entry: July 20, 2008
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (NLT)
Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain,to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy. I will praise you with my harp, O God, my God!(NLT)
Have you ever thought about giving up and quitting? Maybe you have just sat down to take a break. The next thing you know, you are no longer running at all. Your break has turned into you quitting and slowly turning away from God.
Our Brother Paul outlined it clearly how we are to run this race. We are encouraged to run in such a way that we will obtain the prize. Paul encourages us not to just run, but to run with the intention of winning the race.
This race to the imperishable crown is not over quickly, it’s a marathon we are running! In order to run with all endurance we have to first begin to train. While in training you are getting your spirit man, who was once asleep, built up in strength and endurance.
If you want to know if you have been training or even running the race, ask yourself these questions:
(A) How much time do I spend watching television?
(B) How much time do I spend reading the word of God?
(A) How much time do I spend complaining?
(B) How much time do I spend praising God?
(A) How much time do I spend gossiping?
(B) How much time do I spend sharing the word of God with others?
Which column is greater, A (things that draw you away from God) or B (things that draw you closer to God)? If you find that you spend more time doing the things that draw you away from God, than closer to Him, don't be discouraged. Be encouraged for you are in training! You may have more work to do, but you are at least training. Now if your answers to (B) are all zero (no time), don't be discouraged because it's not too late to start training. Make the decision to begin right now!
This morning the enemy came to me real quick and sneaky. The goal of his was to discourage me from running and encourage me to quit. A tactic used was to bring up my past and how I have never finished anything that I started. When the going got hard, I got going in the other direction. For a split second, I almost gave in to that mess he was trying to sell me and quit running. Before the thought was finished I cried out to Abba, Father "I WILL NOT QUIT!"
You too must begin by boldly declaring your same intentions before the Lord and everyone else who may be listening. Then pray, repent of your sins and invite the Holy Spirit into your life in the name of Jesus. As He encourages you to read, read your Bible. As He encourages you to speak of Jesus, do so without shame.
Keep your eyes on the prize, Jesus Christ and run in His direction. You may trip, stumble or maybe even fall, but keep running. Your very life depends on it!
Questions it brought to my mind...
What other ways in my life have I stopped or even slowed down in this race? What can I do for myself and my family to get back on track?
My closing prayer...
Father, I pray for all who read this article today. I pray for those who have stopped running, that this article and Your words will touch their hearts in the name of Jesus. Stir up their spirit man Lord God that they will once again seek to win the prize (Your kingdom) at all cost. Lord I pray for those who are struggling, who are tired, and who are bound in the drudgery of daily life, that they can't find the time to get to You. For those who struggle Lord, I pray you continue to strengthen and encourage them in the name of Jesus. For those who are tired Lord God, I ask that You renew their strength in the name of Jesus. And Father, for those who are bound in the activities of daily life, I ask that You Lord meet them right where they are at. Speak to them and let them know of small ways they can begin to spend time with you during the day in the name of Jesus. I pray Your peace Lord over the readers in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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