Friday, March 5, 2010

Running the Race

"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Acts 21:24

While reading my devotion this morning, it occurred to me that this passage is perhaps one of the most vital in maintaining our service to God.  Like Paul, I want to be a finisher in the race.  And I want to run it so well that at the end, I will know that I have done all I possibly could to further God's kingdom for His glory.

We have been given a "task", and it is even more important that we see it to its conclusion because it is expected of us to do so.  Too many of us merely give lip service to the lost.  We fail to demonstrate the seriousness of man's sinfulness against God and their need of the grace He is freely extending to them through His Son Jesus Christ.  For various reasons, I am just as guilty as the next.  But I am without excuse in my failures and if I attempt to create any, I am only fooling myself and leading others to false and damaging conclusions.

I am striving to adhere to the purity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not some watered-down, ineffective, and destructive form of it, and to convey it as He intended.  I want to be bolder for Him.  I want to fearlessly approach those who need Jesus Christ and bravely tell them why they so desperately need to accept the work which He performed on their behalf - His selfless, gracious, and far-reaching sacrifice.  And I want them to believe that no work they themselves do will ever gain them a toe-hold of heaven, for the blood He shed was sufficient to please God and to bring man back into His presence.

This is my "task" - this is why I want to run the race well.  One day, I want to hear my Lord and my God tell me, "Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your Master's happiness." (Matt 25:21)  

When I do, I can finally rest knowing that I faithfully ran the race to the finish.

Lord, grant me these things.  Give me boldness; make me fearless for You so that others may also know You and share in Your joy.  Help me run the race to its glorious conclusion, Lord, for your honor and glory!


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