Run for the Prize

Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. – (1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one runner gets the prize. So run like that. Run to win! – (1 Corinthians 9:24, ERV)

We all know that when there’s a race, all the runners bolt for the finish line, but only one will take the prize. When you run, run for the prize. – (1 Corinthians 9:24, VOICE)

 

As I considered this verse and how road races work today, there is a real analogy that can be connected. In modern running, if a runner completes the course within the designated time limit (which is usually quite generous) they will receive a finisher’s medal to commemorate the accomplishment of having run their race. The actual race winner does win a prize, but all who finish, do gain something good. Jesus made the way for us to run our own race on the path to which He calls us. For all of us who choose to call on His Name and seek to serve Him (run the race that He has set before us) we will gain our heavenly prize. I am so thankful that we need not be that fastest, the most eloquent of speakers, the holiest or whatever our image of “the most qualified” would be, but rather our prize awaits when we choose to seek and depend on He who gives us direction and strength to run. May we ever turn to the Lord in trust, seeking His strength and direction, so that we will run the race set before us well.

 

To run our race well, IMG_3094

It takes choosing trust;

Seek God for the strength,

To do what we must.

He’ll show us the way,

We are meant to go;

And give us the strength,

To stay the right road.

If we keep running,

And listen to Him;

Life everlasting,

Is the prize we win.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son and making the way for all who seek to run the race to which You are calling, can complete it in Your strength. Thank You that You grant us strength and direction all of our days if we choose to seek You. Forgive us for the times that we attempt to run aimlessly on our own. Show us how to trust You to lead and guide us as we go. Teach us to love those around us well, so that we would be a source of encouragement, strength and direction in You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You for strength and direction to run our race for our forever prize in Your presence. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

To Keep Moving On

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. – (Philippians 3:13-14, NLT)

 

If I am to move forward in that which God is calling and equipping me, I have to let go of the past and look ahead, otherwise I will be stuck in a space of limbo. When we are caught in the in-between of what has been and what is yet to be, there is this sense of stuck that we cannot escape. It is only when we make the choice to fix our eyes completely on Jesus, that we find we have the capacity to begin moving forward in the direction to which we are being called. Even if our movement is painfully slow, pressing in and remaining focused on Him who calls, results in bringing us closer towards where we are headed than where we were before. May we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and press on toward our heavenly prize to which we are being called. Let the Lord lead us in this race, and allow Him to map out the race plan.

 

All that once has been,Persevere to the Promise

is now done and gone;

we‘re called to step up,

and keep moving on.

With eyes fixed on Christ,

let us run this race;

not as a quick sprint,

but at His set pace.

Though there will be turns,

and trials each day;

may we keep running,

on His path, let’s stay.

For at the race end,

is the greatest prize;

eternal glory,

seen in Jesus’ eyes.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in You, we can move beyond our past and look forward to what lies ahead. Thank You that You strengthen and equip us to press on to reach the end of our race and receive the heavenly prize for which You are calling us. Forgive us for forgetting that this life is not a sprint, but rather is a marathon. Help us to listen to Your race plan rather than our own. You know what is best, and You map out the very best route for us, individually. Help us to trust You more. Show us how to love others with the same relentless, limitless love that You give unto us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we look forward to what lies ahead, and press on into all that You are calling us to do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; …my hope is in You all day long. – Psalm 25:4-5

The Purpose of Patient Endurance

image by panhala.net

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” – Revelation 14:12

The same words also appear in Revelation 13:10.  Both times, the words are in reference to what will be required of His redeemed when the end is near.

We, who are His, must obey His commands and remain faithful to our Heavenly Father, as we patiently endure all that comes to pass.  Our job as believers, saved by His great grace, is to do as He asks, despite all that is going on around us.  We must keep our eyes on our heavenly prize, as we grow in the grace that God has given us through the gift of His Son, Jesus.  He endured all things on our behalf, in our place, so that we, too, ought to be equipped to patiently persevere through the press that is placed before us.

Romans 5:3-5 reminds us why we are to endure with patience and trust in His promised presence.  “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

Dear Heavenly Father, please prepare us to patiently persevere as You equip us with endurance to be obedient and remain faithful.  Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit that is our ever-present help in our time of need.  May we rejoice not in the pain of our suffering, but in the process; as our perseverance ultimately develops and establishes hope in our hearts.  Teach us to place our hearts in Your hands, so that we may soak in the love You lavish upon us, and in turn, pour out Your powerful love upon all who are ready to receive.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present