AUDIO We’re Here To Finish The Race

Rev Bill Woods

Everything changed last March when the Nation and the World hit the panic button because of the Covid 19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

  • Churches and businesses were shut down, many of which will never open again.
  • Our schools were closed.
  • We were in lock-down in our homes.
  • We have to wear masks and stand 6 feet apart.
  • We had to stand in long lines to go shopping for groceries and supplies.
  • Our fantastic economy plummeted until we now have a money crisis.
  • People are losing their homes.

 

Because of all this, people are lonely and horribly depressed.

  • Suicide rates have increased dramatically.
  • A good portion of our population have lost their incentive to live and just want to give up.

 

Unfortunately, many Christians are in that condition too.

  • Listen, God is not glorified if we just lay down and quit!
  • We are called to finish the race!

 

Hebrews 12:1-2:
1  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.
2  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 honor beside God’s throne.

52 years ago at the Olympics in Mexico City, the world saw one man’s amazing persistence. John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania, Africa, came to compete with the nations of the world who had gathered for the Olympic Games.

Athletes came from all around the globe after having trained for years to compete in the games.                                                                                                              .    – Finally, the time had arrived.

The Marathon, while not always exciting to watch, is one of the most severe Olympic tests of human endurance. `

Many runners trained extensively for years to compete.

The race began, and eventually, the winner came running back into the Olympic Stadium, welcomed by cheers from the appreciative fans. Soon other runners arrived as well, and eventually, the race was over.                           .    — Over, that is, except for one runner.                                                                                                                                                       .    – A single, lone runner was still out on the course.

Other track events continued in the stadium, and an hour passed.  Finally, 1½ hours later, the final runner, an athlete from Tanzania, John Stephen Akhwari, entered the stadium.

His pace was slow. Akhwari had cramped up because of the city’s high altitude.

.   –  He hadn’t trained at such an altitude back in his country.

At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 kilometer race, the runners were jockeying for position and he was hit.

.   – He fell badly wounding and dislocating his knee.  His shoulder hit hard     against  the pavement.                                                                                                                  – By shear grit he kept on running, finishing last among the 57 competitors    who completed the race (75 had started).

The winner of the marathon, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, finished in 2:20:26.     – Akhwari finished in 3:25:27, when there were only a few thousand people left   in the stadium, and the sun had set.

A television crew came out from the medal ceremony when they heard there was one more runner about to finish.

His steps were wobbly. His knee was bloody and bandaged from that fall earlier in the race where he got bumped and knocked down.

He looked terrible as he entered the stadium.

– The fans realized who he was and what he was doing, and they began to        cheer as he made his way around the track and finally, painfully, crossed the  finish line.                                                                                                                        Cheers swelled as the fans saluted the man’s determination.

Later, he was asked why, when he saw he’d lost the race by 1½  hours, had he kept on running.

His answer was simple: “My country didn’t send me 5000 miles away to start the race. They sent me 5000 miles to finish it.”

The Apostle Paul said that a crown of life is waiting for each of us who finishes the race.

But finishing is much harder than starting.                                                                  Finishing means running day in and day out.

Finishing means training and self-denial and staying focused on the goal.

God hasn’t put you here to start.  God has put you here to finish.

Keep running the good race.

Some Christians get discouraged and want to drop out of the race because of turbulence in their lives.

Turbulence is no reason to quit.  It’s a reason to bear down and try harder until you finish the race!

Too many people are watching your life and depending on your faithfulness to endure to the end and receive the crown of Life!

Hebrews 12:1-2  
1  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.
2  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 honor beside God’s throne.

 

Turbulence can break us or make us stronger!

  • Remember, we are now in training to rule with Christ for Eternity.
  • He isn’t interested in recruiting and ruling with wimps.
  • We are to mount up with wings as eagles.

 

Isaiah 40:28-31
28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29  He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,
31  But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

TURBULENT WINDS CAUSE THE EAGLE TO FLY HIGHER.

Life’s troubles should cause the Christian to seek closer fellowship with the Lord. Troubles should cause us to fly higher.

TURBULENT WINDS GIVE THE EAGLE A LARGER VIEW.

When our lives are touched by troubles and we flee to God we begin to see the reason and result of lower living.

TURBULENT WINDS LIFT THE EAGLE ABOVE HARRASSMENT FROM OTHER BIRDS OF PREY.

As we walk with the Lord it’s difficult, if not impossible, for us to be harassed by the troubles or troubler of life.

TURBULENT WINDS ALLOW THE EAGLE TO USE LESS EFFORT.

We struggle the most when we live in lower spiritual altitudes. If we draw near to God, we will find how really simple life is meant to be.

TURBULENT WINDS ALLOW THE EAGLE TO STAY UP LONGER.

When we experience fellowship with God; His peace, comfort and love, there will be a desire to remain close to Him. When troubles come we learn immediately to stretch forth our wings and fly high into the presence of the Lord.

TURBULENT WINDS HELP THE EAGLE TO FLY FASTER.

The more we soar above the cares and troubles of life, the more effective we will be in accomplishing the work God has called every Christian to do – Glorifying Him and evangelizing the world in which we live.

We need courage to keep on keeping on.

Don’t succumb to a little turbulence.  Rise above it!

Yes, we are living through difficult times, but God is still there.

I have an idea that even more difficult times are coming as we approach the Rapture when Christ will call His Church home.

Like the Gaither chorus says, “It Will Be Worth It All When We Get Home!”

IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL

JUST TO SEE HIS FACE

WHEN HE TAKES US FOR HIS OWN!

THEN TEN MILLION YEARS TO SIN “AMAZING GRACE!”

IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL WHEN WE GET HOME!

 

REMEMBER, WE’RE HERE TO FINISH THE RACE!


WE’RE HERE TO FINISH THE RACE PODCAST

Listen here


 

Author: Narrow Path Ministries

Non-denominational, Independent, Bible believing Church

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