Running Fast For God
If you are any kind of runner you just have to amaze at Usain Bolt. He was born in Jamaica. Bolt won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He won gold in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4 x 100 meter relay. All races were won in world record time. Usain Bolt runs fast. He runs very fast. We should run fast for God! The Bible says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1) Run, Run fast, Run with patience for God.
To win a gold medal Usain Bolt had to be a legal participant: He did not just show up at the start line and say, "We are all running to the same line down yonder." If he was not a legal participant it would have done him no good to run. He would not have received the gold medal. "And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5) A person can run this race only by first becoming a Christian. (Acts 2:36-41) This race can be run only by faithful members of the church, people who accept the full obligations of Christian living. (Acts 2:47)
To win a gold medal Usain Bolt had to be the winner: In running a race you have someone who wins to receive the prize. "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." (1 Corinthians 9:24) We should be willing to make whatever sacrifice necessary to go to heaven! The athletic must train in order to win his race. Self-discipline and Christian growth are necessary for the Christian runner. Remember, "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)
To win a gold medal Usain Bolt had to be a participant, not a spectator. The race must be run. You MUST BE a runner in the race. It would do no good to say, "I believe I will watch this race and win a gold medal." We must run the race with patience or endurance. We develop such patience by "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2)
The gold medal is a great reward for winning the race: This reward, as great as it is, is a corruptible or perishable reward. The Christian, at the end of a faithful Christian race, will receive an eternal reward. "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." (1 Corinthians 9:25) There is one major difference in a race with Usain Bolt and the Christian race we are in. Chances are really, really good that if Usain Bolt is in the race he will be the one and only winner. In the Christian race we can all be winners. "So run, that ye may obtain." (1 Corinthians 9:24) Each step you take in this spiritual race leads you closer to that heavenly goal.
To begin the Christian race hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) If you are a Christian, stay on course for the Lord in your daily Bible study, evangelism, in your commitment and in all of your daily living.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36036 USA