Category Archives: running the Race of life

Running the Race as a Winner for 2017

Day One

Doesn’t everyone want to be a winner – to be a success? God wants you to be a winner in the game of life. In Hebrews 12:11 Paul equates the Christian with the Roman athletes who live to win the race. These men wouldn’t have thought much of the attitude that says, “It isn’t whether you win or lose that counts, its how you play the game.” The athletes of Rome would have said, “If you play the game right, you will win.”  The runner, now and then, has his eye on only one thing – the goal.

A runner never carries anything with him. He/she even looks for light weight clothes that won’t restrict movement. The contender Paul was talking about was either training or running – he had no divided loyalties.

We live in a world where we learn from the cradle that we must succeed and success equals money and power. Our preoccupation with money weighs us down. We struggle with sin. We are tempted to take on new sin. We constantly remind ourselves of our old sins, and we trip over someone else’s sin. No one could run with such encumbrances.

If we are going to run the race of life that Paul talked about, the first step is to enter, and for that there is only one condition. The one and only standard is faith in the One who already ran and won, paving the way for us.

If you have not chosen to believe Messiah (Christ) is your Savior, now is the time to do it. Then, and only then, you will be ready to run the race as a winner. As Paul explained to the Romans, (Romans 3:10, 23) The Torah tells us that no one is righteous because everyone falls short of God’s glory (perfection). Imperfection results in death (separation from God) as Paul said in Romans 6:23. When we choose to agree with God that we are sinners (imperfect before our Creator) and that sin’s result is death; we are ready to find a remedy. We want to be reconciled to our Creator God. Paul explains how in Romans 8:2-4. As Eugene Peterson puts it:

“A new power is in operation. The spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

When we make the choice to believe that Jesus paid the price of sin and death and say so (as Paul told the Romans in 10:9, 10, and 13) we have life in Messiah through eternity. Praise his blessed name. We are in the race.

Prayer: Lord, you are the foundation of my salvation. The Mighty One, and you are very great. You are opening the eyes of my understanding and giving me wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you. I have tasted of your goodness and I am hungry and thirsty to know more. You are my refuge and my strength. I make a conscious commitment to know what the greatness of your power is toward me and you have promised to demonstrate your power in my life. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time forth and forevermore.

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Running the Race as a Winner Day Thirty-one

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Thirty-one

“Who am I that I should go?”

“Come with me and I will send you.”

“You don’t want me, I’m too old.”

I AM God; eternal, faithful, and true.”

“No one would believe you want me to go.”

“If you believe, you’ll do as you’re told.”

 

“I am not qualified, and I’m afraid.”

“I said, come with me, not, go alone.”

“Why should I go? What will I do?”

“I will do it. I can work through a stone.”

“Yes, that’s true. Out of dust I was made.”

“I used a donkey. I can use you too.

“A vessel of honor I AM making of you.”

“Who am I?”

“No – I AM – not you.”

Paul told the Corinthians Mashiach[i] was speaking in him; and, though he was crucified in weakness, his is now alive and living by the power of God. Then he said we are also weak in him but in our dealings we live by the power of God[ii]. Paul knew about weakness. He had been beaten within an inch of his life, so bad that the ones beating him left him for dead. It left him with what he called a “thorn in the flesh”[iii] that was so bad he asked to be healed of it three times. Yeshua[iv] told him his grace was all he needed because the power of God was made perfectly obvious when others, and Paul himself, saw how God worked in his life in spite of this weakness.

It is a wonderful thing to know we can do anything, in spite of our weakness, because the power of God works in and through us. We can know that power first hand in the darkest hours of our lives as we run the race, over obstacles so hard and treacherous we are cut and bruised from the encounter. Yeshua lifts us up on spirit wings so, even though we feel the pain in our flesh, our spirits are free and full of joy as we, through the power of God, overcome the blockades and keep on running.

We go where Yeshua, through Rauch Ha Kodesh[v] leads us. We are his ambassadors in a foreign land. Our eternal home is with him. This is our temporary dwelling place while we are on our assignment to demonstrate his love, compassion, mercy, and grace to the world we live in.

We are strong in the strength of his might and can go anywhere and do anything he asks us to.

 

 

[i] Christ

[ii] II Corinthians 13:3, 4

[iii] II Corinthians 12:8-10

[iv] Jesus

[v] The Holy Spirit

Running the Race as a Winner Day Thirty

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Thirty

 

Depression: lonely, unable to be heard.

Happiness: thoughtful, encouraging and full of love;

Able to sweep depression off into the deep gray sky.

copied[i]

 

Naomi[ii] was depressed, and that’s an understatement! She had gone to Moab in the bloom of her young adulthood with a full life before her. For an Israelite woman to have two sons must have seemed like everything was going her way pretty much. She had a full stomach and a full house. Then suddenly she was a widow with two widowed daughters-in-law and not even a grandson to take over.

 

Naomi stumbled on the path, weighed down with a clock of self-pity and resentment. She went back to her own home, but her daughter-in-law, Ruth, who was thoughtful, encouraging, and full of love, insisted on going with her as she walked through her valley so she could comfort her. That must have not been too easy a task. Maybe Naomi was going through her “change of life”. Maybe women that long ago had hormone imbalance just like we do. One thing is certain; she was feeling pretty sorry for herself – but not too sorry to see what a precious blessing Ruth was. Those other woman would have never known how good Ruth was to Naomi without Naomi telling them. If she had spent her days complaining, like some women do today, they would have thought Ruth was a wart on her poor old mother-in-law’s nose.

 

Ruth couldn’t have read, “Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down shaken together, and running over[iii],” because it hadn’t been written down yet, but the principle was the same and God knew the rules, (he is the one who made them) so he sent another (Boaz) to Ruth who was thoughtful, encouraging, and full of love; to bless Ruth.

 

As we run the race as winners, we will find many occasions to vanquish depression because we are yoked to the author of happiness, the fountainhead of joy.

 

Prayer: Lord, use me to dispel the clouds of depression in someone’s life today.

 

 

[i] From the hand of Deeon Kohn (high school project)

[ii] The book of Ruth in the Bible

[iii] Luke 6:38

Running the Race as a Winner Day Twenty-nine

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Twenty-nine

Because Cain refused to turn to God, the seed of the woman, promised in Genesis 3:16 would come from Seth[i], the younger son. Adam had been on this earth 235 years when Seth’s first son Enosh, which means “mortal” was born.  He was the grandson of a man whose name means “of the earth”. Adam lived to see his six times great grandson, Lamech, who dies five years before the flood. His son Lamech’s father, Methuselah, died the year of the flood; and Methuselah’ father Enoch, walked with God three hundred years[ii]but it wasn’t until ninety years after he was taken up to God that it was said of anyone else that he “walked with God.” Whether we take this as literal time and people or as symbolic times and people, the message is the same: walking with God, the great and majestic Creator of the universe, is the key to avoiding sin.

 

As winners in the race we walk with God by faith. We agree with God that sin is degrading and corrupt; and we understand that the result is sickness, sadness and death. We hate it, we abhor it, and we despise it; so we avoid it, shun it, and turn from it. We are interested in the joy of the Lord that gives us strength. We love and seek the light that produces the fruit of the Spirit that is all goodness, righteousness, and truth. We delight in the law of the Lord that produces peace, health, and happiness. We direct our lives – an integration of passion and reason – to the Father of Light, from whence comes every good and perfect gift.

 

Prayer: Lord, I love you. You are my strength; your law restores my soul, your testimonies give me wisdom, your precepts give me joy, and your commandments give me insight. Keep me ever close to you. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time and forevermore.

 

[i] Genesis 4:5

[ii] Jude 14:15; Hebrews 11:5-7

Running the Race as a Winner Day Twenty-eight

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Twenty-eight

The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.[i] He said, “I know you distinctively and you have found grace in my sight. My presence will go with you and I shall give you peace. I will show you my goodness and my character, but I will protect you from seeing more than you are able to bear. I will not fail you. Be strong and of a good courage: don’t be afraid, for I AM with you no matter where you go. You shall know the living God is with you and will not fail you.

 

“I have come to heal the broken hearted, to set the captive free and open the doors of your prison. I have brought joy for you when you mourn; I bring beauty and praise to your life. As far as the east is from the west is as far as I have removed your transgressions from you. My words are life and power and they will work in your life to protect it. Cease from your own effort and rest in me for I alone know your thoughts and intentions. I alone understand each feeling and each desire.”

 

Prayer: Lord, my faith is weak – I believe, reduce my unbelief.  Blessed be your name from this time forth and forevermore. I have thought, O God, on your loving-kindness, in the midst of your people, according to your name, so is your praise to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is full of righteousness; your people rejoice and your Church is glad because of your judgments. You are my God forever and ever. You are my guide even to death. I praise your name.

 

[i] Exodus 33:17-23; Jeremiah 1:5; 9:23, 24: John 10:14; Psalm 34:8

Running the Race as a Winner Day Twenty-seven

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Twenty-seven

Satan is our enemy[i] but he uses other people and other things, even our own sinful natures, to do his dirty work; however, he is the enemy. He is behind all our troubles and heart-aches. He is the leader of the principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness of this age: the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places[ii].

 

Yeshua[iii] is the victory already won over our adversary. He has already defeated every danger and every distress. He is the answer to every problem in our lives.[iv]

 

As winners running this race, we will never underestimate our opponentor our Friend.  We see reality with the eyes of our spiritual understanding as we look at, listen to, and learn of the things of Rauch Ha Kodesh[v].[vi]  We check our own spirits with the word of God[vii], keeping in mind that re-creation takes time[viii]. We continually die to our self-interest[ix]and strengthen our status of life in Mashiach[x]; so we are able to distinguish the demonic influence in our lives from the Divine[xi]. Rauch Ha Kodesh speaks through the word of God and leads us to that which is authentic. He reveals Yeshua and Yeshua is the express image of God the Father. We see the glory of Yeshua through Rauch Ha Kodesh, and when we see the character of our Savior, we see our Father.  There is no division, in what they tell us, for these three who bear witness in heaven and on earth are One – the Father, the Word, and the Spirit in heaven; and the Spirit, the water of Yeshua’s baptism, and the blood of his death on earth.  We, as winners in the race, are reassured by the testimony of our God[xii].

 

Prayer: You are my Rock and my fortress; therefore, for you name’s sake, lead me and guide me, for you are my strength. Into your hands I commit my spirit and my life, for you have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

 

 

[i] I Peter 5:8

[ii] Ephesians 6:12

[iii] Jesus

[iv] Romans 8:37; /Ephesians 6:13-18

[v] The Holy Spirit

[vi] Psalm 91

[vii] Matthew 22:29; John 8:31, 32; Psalm 119:105

[viii] II Corinthians 3:18-4:1

[ix] The wants of the sinful flesh – this earthly tabernacle we dwell in

[x] Christ. Romans 7:4-6; 14-25; I Corinthians 15:31-34

[xi] John 4:1; Romans 8:9, 14-16; 26, 27

[xii] I John 5:7-9

Running the Race as a Winner Day Twenty-six

Running the Race as a Winner

Day Twenty-six

While we dwell in these earthly tabernacles (our bodies), love[i] is not perfected in our application because our old nature is present in us all. We delight to do the will of God according to the inward man[ii], but there is a law in our flesh making war with our minds, holding us captive to the sin in our flesh. We are wretched and poor but, thank God, through Yeshua Ha Mashiach – our Lord – with our minds, we ourselves sere the law of God, but with our flesh, the law of sin.[iii]

 

We will fear while we behold the Lord through the glass of the Word[iv]and are change, from one characteristic to another, and become perfected in love until the day we see Yeshua with our eyes and are changed in the twinkling of an eye into the images of Perfect Love[v]completed in love.

 

While we wait, we fear enough to desire perfect rest[vi]: the serenity God has promised. We fear lest our works are those which will delay our progress into that rest[vii]. We run the race as winners being diligent to enter into his tranquility[viii]. We hold fast to the living and powerful word of god which is able to show us ourselves, reveal our Lord to us, discern our thoughts and intentions, and prepare us to accept the son-ship of our adoption[ix]. We cast down our burdens and sins, hold tight to the hand of our Father, and are afraid to let go. That is the only fear we retain.

 

Prayer: Lord, you are Perfect Love. You have protected me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me. I will not fret because of evil-doers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. I will trust in you and do good, dwell in the circumstances you have placed me in and feed on your faithfulness. My delight is in you and your will is the desire of my heart. I am committed to you and I trust you. I know that you will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your justice as the noon day. I will rest in you and wait patiently for you. I will not fret because of him who prospers in his own way and brings wicked schemes to pass. I will cease from anger and forsake wrath because it only causes harm and I know that the earth is yours and the fullness thereof. The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace, so make me meek. And blessed be the name of the Lord God from this time and forevermore.

 

[i] I John 4:17, 18

[ii] Romans 7:14-25

[iii] Romans 8:2, 3

[iv] Hebrews 4:1; II Corinthians 3:18

[v] I Corinthians 15:52; 49

[vi] Hebrews 4

[vii] Hebrews 4:10

[viii] Hebrews 12:1, 2, 12, 13

[ix] Hebrews 12:16