Friday, September 9, 2011

The Great Race


Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Foot racing in ancient Greece was a highly valued sport, a favored form of exercise, and a necessity in war, as troops needed to be able to engage or retreat quickly, and news of the battles were carried back to cities by trained, long-distance runners. In their Olympic games, the winning runner received no money, no medal, only a crown of perishable olive leaves to adorn his head.* Paul's audience would have instantly made the connection with racing, but the value of the prize, salvation in Christ, would have emphasized all the more the infinite merit of their struggles and suffering in this life as they press on for the glory of God.

Theirs was the Great Race, the only one worth running, the only one worth winning. Where are you in the Great Race? Are you in training, or have you yet to buy your running shoes? Are you running with endurance, or are you continuously out of breath? Is the goal of becoming more Christ-like in sight, or are there ruts in the road tripping you up, hindering your progress? Wherever you may be in your Great Race, press on! Keep your eyes on the prize!

Readings
Psalms 40, 54 or 51
1 Kings 18:20-40
Philippians 3:1-16
Matthew 3:1-12

*Source for info on the sport of running in ancient Greece: www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/running/index.html

11 comments:

  1. Dear Martha, these are lovely thoughts to ponder going into the weekend. As for myself, I am "running the race" but always could do better. One thing that helps so much though is to have such encouragement and the knowledge that our brothers and sisters are all out there too cheering us on. Have a blessed weekend!

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  2. Thank you, Colleen! Yes, the encouragement of others who are running the race is crucial; knowing we are not alone in our quest for the prize brings great comfort. Glad to know you are running with me!

    Blessings!

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  3. Some of us have a few laps to make up. That would include me. Thanks for the reminder and the imagery that helps to set things in perspective.

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  4. I really do enjoy your writing style. We all need someone to hand us a glass of water and tell us we are doing great, don't we ??

    Enjoyed reading this today!!


    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/09/remembering-9-11-with-images-of.html

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  5. Good Morning, Martha:
    Like the Olympic runners you refer to in this blog post, reaching God Like endurance is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to be aware of this, for seeking God is a lifelong experience. You can NEVER really be at your destination. Even when you transition you're still learning, still seeking God.

    There is no end.
    There is no beginning.
    Seeking God is a continual circle. It is NOT a race, nor should it be.
    --
    Chris

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  6. I do like the analogies that you use.

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  7. Thanks Hank, Jim, Chris, and Danny for the marvelous observations and comments. Your thoughts are so important to me.

    Yes, we do need the encouragement to stay the course and have the endurance to live our lives for the Lord. It is, indeed, the never-ending run in His eternal circle.

    Blessings to all!

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  8. A great post! I am trying my best, though at times I do stumble a bit, but I always get back up, centered in Christ and with my eye fixed towards Zion.

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  9. A nice post to start my weekend with Martha! At times it is difficult. We loose momentum along the way but after a couple of deep breaths we get back on the track :)Never losing sight of our goal!!

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  10. Thank you, Lindsay, Jessica, and Nelieta for stopping by! Yes, endurance, taking those deep breaths, and keeping our eyes on our goal in Christ Jesus is what we must do. I'm sure we can keep our momentum going through prayer!

    Blessings!

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