“I run in the path of Your commands” (Psalm 119:32). “They shall run and not be weary” (Isaiah 40:31). “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
I recall the esteem I had for coaches in my various athletic endeavors of youth who often went by the one word moniker “Coach” and that’s what I prefer to call Bill.
Coach is now 81 but remains very athletic. In his home he showed me a collection of metal stick figures representing various track and field positions (see photo above). As we looked them over I picked them up, and recalling my high school track and field participation, identified each one. Then an idea for a Daily Encouragement series came to mind.
In several places the Bible describes the Christian life as running a race. The race most analogous to the Christian life is the marathon which is run over a very specific course, usually on a road, comprising 26 miles and 385 yards. The event was instituted in commemoration of the fabled run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides, a messenger from the Battle of Marathon (the namesake of the race), to Athens.The marathon was one of the original modern Olympic events in 1896, though the distance did not become standardized until 1921. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with the vast majority of competitors being recreational athletes. The Boston Marathon has some 30,000 participants and some 1,000,000 people will line the course cheering on the runners, according to the Boston Athletic Association. We’ve been there twice, once at the finish line and once at Heartbreak Hill.
This week we want to draw some spiritual lessons from the race. Most of our references will be from the New Testament but today’s first reference is a gem found in the longest chapter in the entire Bible, Psalm 119!
I am blessed by the phrase “I run in the path of Your commands”. God, through His Word, has provided the life time course for us. His commands are markers along the way keeping us on track. Failure to keep His commands will most certainly get us off course.
A current example of one who ran in the path of God’s commands from the time of his youth until the day God called him home last Thursday, May 2, is 89 year old Bible Teacher, Commentator, and Author of 150 books, Warren W. Wiersbe. His example, his wisdom and his teaching left an indelible mark on countless pastors, Christian leaders and laypersons alike.Since archiving the messages online in 2005 we have referred to Warren Wiersbe 115 times. He was not just a student and teacher of God’s Word, he lived according to God’s commands. He didn’t try to explain them in a way that sought to please itchy ears nor did he seek to align them with current philosophies of our day that contradict Scripture. Instead he ran in the path of God’s commands to his final breath.
In Hebrews we read that we are to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). For every believer, the Christian race begins when we accept Christ and continues till we finish the race at either the time of our death, such as Wiersbe, or when Jesus returns for His church. So let us bravely run the race till we see Christ!
Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ.
One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.
So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we look to You for strength and guidance on our life’s race. Your commands teach us the way we are to walk and the way we are to respond to the bumps and potholes we encounter on the journey. We want to run in the path of Your commands, because that is where You teach us how to follow Your decrees. You cheer us on by Christ’s example and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that sustains us in our struggle against sin. Keep us faithful to the end, for the end is only the beginning. We seek to run the race before us, strong and brave to face the foe, looking only unto Jesus as we onward go. Amen.
This week our series will be on lessons from life’s race:
Monday: “Running The Race Set Before Us”
Tuesday: “The Start”
Wednesday: “The Hurdles”
Thursday: “The Relay”
Friday: “The Finish”
“Grace on Top of Grace” Video Fellowship Creative