Run the Race

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“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 1:1

It was Mexico City 1968. John Steven Akhwari of Tanzania had started the Olympic marathon with all the other runners hours before, but he finished it alone. When he finally arrived at the stadium there were only a few spectators remaining in the stands. The winner of the marathon had crossed the finish line over an hour earlier.

It was getting dark; his right leg was bandaged and heavily bleeding. He was obviously in great pain, but he crossed the finish line suffering from fatigue, leg cramps, dehydration and disorientation. A reporter asked him why he didn’t just quit. He thought for a moment and said, “My country did not send me here to start the race; my country sent me here to finish it.”

If you are a Christian you are in a race this passage in Hebrews 12 refers to running a race. The word for “race” is the Greek word “agon” from which we get the English word “agony”. The Christian life calls for the discipline of an athlete, the endurance of a marathon runner, and the determination of a champion.

You see, the way you win the race is not by focusing on the finish line, because we don’t know where the finish line is. The way you run and the way you win is by focusing on Jesus.

Salvation is not a reward you get at the end of the race. Salvation is the gift that puts you into the race. I encourage you, today, if you’re not in the race give your life to Jesus. He’s got the shoes and the uniform waiting for you. If you are in race, run it for the glory of God, keeping your eyes on Jesus who will make you a winner.

–James Merritt

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