Saturday, August 19, 2023

Pastor's Ponderings, August 19, 2023

Let Us Press Toward God’s Finish Line


On Aug 27, 2022, I was blessed to run the ten-mile race at the 2022 Crim Festival of Races in Flint Michigan.  It was grueling, intense, and tiring and I was thrilled to see the finish line in the distance.  Suddenly, I forgot about my pain, exhaustion, and felt I had the power to eagerly finish.  I had this burst of energy and began running vigorously to complete the race.  My granddaughter, Kyra, later proclaimed, “Papa, you were running!”


We are all in the race of our lives.  However, the Bible tells us to press toward that which is ahead of us in Christ and to forget that which is behind us (Philippians 3:13, 14). During the Crim, I was trying to get a medal that I had finished. But those who love the Lord are looking for an eternal prize of life in heaven (Ephesians 2:6), living in an divine mansion that was not made with human hands (2 Corinthians 5:1) and to dwell in the presence of the Lord forever (Psalm 27:4).


We are all in the race of our spiritual lives, but we don’t run aimlessly for God but we discipline ourselves in living for Him, in studying His word, in meditating His commands, in seeking His face and delighting ourselves in Him (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  We are all looking for Him at the finish line saying, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21).  Let us forget our struggles and joyfully press toward God’s finish line in Him.

Philippians 3:13, 14

New International Version

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead

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


Ephesians 2:6

New International Version

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,


2 Corinthians 5:1

New International Version

5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.


Psalm 27:4

New International Version

4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.


1 Corinthians 9:24-27

New International Version

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 

27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others,  I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


Matthew 25:21

King James Version

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.


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