The Race

I have a confession to make: I love eating…and I hate exercise.

Ground shaking revelation, right? I know that most of us would probably agree that we would rather be kicked back, soft drink in hand, snacking on some chips or cookies while watching our favorite show or the big game (and hooray for football season being almost upon us!). I am certainly no exception to that desire.

However, we know that having that kind of lifestyle isn’t what is best for us. We have to keep things in check with our diet and hopefully get in some exercise in the process to keep our bodies healthy. Now the problem is, what if you hate exercise, like I do?

Well, that’s where my friends step in. Left to myself, when that alarm clock goes off at 4:30 or 5:00 in the morning I would hit the snooze and roll over…but knowing that I have a group of guys waiting on me to hit the pavement for an hour of hanging out with one another while running or biking makes it 100% more likely that I’ll actually get up, get dressed, and head out the door. Plus, they make fun of me when I sleep in.

You’re probably wondering how this applies to Christ. You’re reading this on a church website, after all, right? Well, just you wait, I promise I’ll get there.

There are some times, however, when someone will bail on a workout via text early in the morning. Do you know what happens then? We all bail. It’s like dominos toppling. Once there is a fault in the armor, the whole thing falls down.

I love the way The Message puts Hebrews 12:1-3: “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!”

We are in a race. The Bible makes that clear. Every single day of our lives we are heading to the finish line. Here at Vaughn Forest, it has felt like a mud run at times…down in the dirt, scrapping for every inch. So how do we keep at it and stay in the race? By fixing our eyes on Christ and encouraging one another! There are days we want to slack off. There are days we want to ease up. There are even days we want to quit. But by looking to Jesus, who began and will finish the good work in you, and also by supporting one another, we will do more than just persevere, we will be more than conquerers…victors for Christ!

So let there be no talk of bailing, of not working together, of sleeping in, of cracks in the armor, of disunity in this community of believers. HUGE things are right around the corner. Together, under God’s guidance, there is nothing that can stand in our way. A three-fold cord is not easily broken. God has already given Vaughn Forest Church the victory, all we have to do is lock arms, march forward, and claim it. Let us run the race that God has set before us, together, all for Jesus!

The best is yet to come!