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Endurance!

Reaching Out

“The word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:25

As an athlete, Bob Hayes stood out for two reasons: his blazing speed and an uncanny ability to catch the football. But Bob had, what some coaches considered, a design flaw. He was pigeon-toed and knock-kneed!

Until he entered college, his coaches didn’t concern themselves with these apparent problems because Bob performed above all others on the track and football field. He trained hard. He had endurance as well as natural ability.

When he accepted a scholarship to Florida A&M University, the running coaches decided Bob needed help to correct his physical flaws. The result of their “help?” Bob’s sprint times got worse. Finally the coaches told Bob to ignore their suggestions and run naturally. The results were astounding.

While in college, Hayes was considered the world’s fastest man because of his multiple world records in the 60 yard, 100 yard, 220 yard and Olympic 100-meter dash. Hayes is the only man to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring!Hayes’ endurance and dedication are well-known and easily seen.

And what of us believers? Are we dedicated to serving the Lord, showing love to the world, taking the position as a servant? Is following Jesus the most important thing in our lives or are we satisfied with a little bit here and there, knowing we will be dancing in heaven some day?

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

1 Cor. 9:24-27 Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.

Phil. 3:10-14 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

James 1:23-25 Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

Are we willing to contend for the imperishable crown of life? We are victors and it is important that we live as though we are. After all, God has given us every weapon necessary to defeat the enemy. Victory is not walking through life untouched, it is walking through life’s greatest challenges with Christ, sustained by our faith.

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