I’m not going to be so presumptuous to think that everyone has seen the movie Forrest Gump, and we are so very familiar with the call Forrest lived by: “Run Forrest, run!”
What if it was *GOD* who was calling each of us and what He was saying is: “Run __your name__, run!” Truth be told, He is. and it’s not always all about the familiar for most, and maybe to some, verse of Scripture.
I’m going to assume that most CHRISTians have read, seen, or know of, if not even in part, the Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9: 24-25You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I’m also going to believe, because people are a whole lot obsessed with sports, that even non-Christians have come across this verse a time or two, or more, in their life as well.
Let’s face it, most CHRISTians, who play athletics, or attend a CHRISTian school have heard 1 Cor. 9:24-25 quoted, to the point that when you hear it, you just shrug a shrug of familiarity; am I right? Maybe, if you are aware of Tim Tebow, as most people are, I’m sure you’ve heard it spoken. However, that doesn’t mean that every ear that has heard, knows this verse. It might however mean that most who’ve heard it, know of it. There’s a difference, a BIG difference in knowing about, and knowing!
Each day we make statements like, “I know ____.” or “I know _____, I don’t like (or like) them.” In fact, being me, I someone mentioned if I’d seen Madonna in the half-time show of the Super Bowl last Sunday. I said no, cause I didn’t. Then I said, “I don’t like her.” Yes, I said that. Which I then followed up by: “I really shouldn’t have said that, I don’t really know her. What I should have said is, I don’t like what she stands for. Her reputation isn’t something that makes me like her. Now I love her, because *GOD* calls me to love her, but like her personality, character, or ways she lives, not so much! That is more of the truth. I don’t know the women, and quite honestly, it’s like us saying we know Tim Tebow. We know in part, but not in whole.
Which brings me to my ramblings on today’s blog. This is most likely NOT the verse that came to mind when I mentioned running this race, and thus this is where the LORD led me on Sunday morning (it’s now Monday), when I first began to write yesterday’s blog, which now has become today’s (Monday’s) blog.
Reread the above well known verse that is often quoted again. Now read this:
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Yep, that’s about the size sometimes of our running the race attentively. We allow all sorts of distractions along the way, and the attention we give to hearing, listening and desiring to please *GOD* and not grieve His the Holy Spirit, shortened, all because we’ve learned to run, run, run, onto the next thing going on.
1 Corinthians 13:
The Message (MSG)
8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our
incompletes will be canceled.
As I said, I’m not a sports person, or did I ever even bother to mention that. I know enough about sports to fill a thimble, maybe even slightly more. I know enough to be familiar with a few terms. So, technically, most sports fans, they don’t give me the time of day to talk about sports. Oh sure, I’m good for the high-five of happiness connection, but that’s about it. Familiar, just doesn’t cut it. In fact I think, I myself would be considered having made an incomplete connection with the world of sports. Familiar just doesn’t allow me to be one of the sports fanatics.
Now, here is where it’s game on! Yep, game on for me. I’m radically saved, radically changed, and radically awaiting His Return; if I don’t get swooped off my ten little toes and leave earlier. Quite honestly, I’m ready, willing and quite able to freely say this is not a game, but if we are going to use some secular terms, GAME ON! The game that isn’t a game, unless we now move into another area, called LIFE>which is a board game. Holy goodness, this is why up is now down, and down is up, and everything in the world of what is truly becoming of a CHRISTian is watered down and unattractive for most who don’t believe. We filtered in so much role playing, game playing, terminology we confused the masses.
WHO, completes you and I.
Nope, that’s not a question, it’s a statement. Remember the Hebrews verse above. It spoke of
incompletes. There is one incomplete that can’t be cancelled and the decision you make well breathing your breaths here, is where you have to complete it. It’s the completion to say, to Jesus. Told you so, I’m a Jesus fan. Not the warm fuzzy Jesus some churches throw your way, or a good warm-fuzzy author writes about. I’m talking fully pledged, sold-out and totally committed to the Lord.
Day in, and day out we are each reaching for something. It might be a woman, who’s just received, what I personally consider to be the noblest of titles, that of being a mother. Or, it might be a student striving to gain all that knowledge that will lead them to their job destination in life. So many races, so many ways, so many people running this race called life.
What if I told you that coming in 2nd on earth, is a far better placement to be than that of coming 1st. Forget “what if”, I’m going to tell you, only it isn’t me that is telling all of us, it’s *GOD*. Betcha that this verse isn’t often quoted before a big game, or even after. It should be though, truly it should be just maybe one of the verses all new believers carry with them. No, that’s wrong, it should be a verse we all in-Christ hold up to for the score card at the end of the day. No wait, often we need to hold this verse up in the middle of some stinking, bad, down right super colossal, horrible no good day. A reminder to stop in our tracks and rethink our strategy, or wait, not our strategy, but HIS. Still not a believing me, eh? Okay, so you want proof that *GOD* said, 2nd place is better than 1st. Fine, here ya go:
The Message (MSG)
9-11Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
What? Content with second place. Inconceivable!!! Yep, first place is now reserved for WHO!
Who, you? No, *GOD*-Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
What? You no longer wanna be a fan? A fan of what? What are you running the race for, or who? Who is your who? Because ladies and gentlemen if the Who isn’t spelled with a capital “W” your who is all wrong. You can’t run this race of life for anything but for the LIFE! That’s the goal, that’s the prize that Jesus died for.
Is that what you are hearing now, because I said something about Life, and running and Who? Well shame on you!!! Just because we are hearing the same old, it might be because *GOD* knew we needed to hear it again, and again. After all, how often does a coach say, “Now let’s get out there and win.”? Huh? How often have you ever said to someone, maybe to yourself, “You can do this.” Well, how do you think *GOD* feels as He looks upon each of us individually, and we began to drop the LIFE ball at the wayside for some warm and fuzzy living? Huh? How? Who?
Run _________, run!
We forget, as we cling to this idea of running the race of life that 1st isn’t everything. Now I know that there are coaches everywhere that would disagree. The truth is, just running the race is something to be esteemed. Maybe you’ll disagree, and that’s just fine, but I believe that the ability to just want to get out of bed some days, is a gift. Not that I often feel that way, but truthfully, I have at times.
Being second is not a bad thing. In fact, if you continue on in reading Scripture, you’ll find that to be a truer statement. We, as Bible Believing, CHRIST-centered CHRISTians better know this, and we better know this well. If today you were thinking you were number 1, take a back seat please, because if *GOD* is at the helm of your life, and mine, He better have 1st place. Now I know Tim Tebow, and many others do there best to portray this, and some jump on board with Tim Tebow because, lets all be honest, he is nice looking. Yet I wonder, I wonder how many not nice looking CHRISTians, who profess to have the Lord in their lives, don’t make it like Tim Tebow, or some other good looking, charismatic, people do.
We, as a people group categorize and accept someone based on a whole different set of standards than that which *GOD* does. We try to act, say, do different, but lets face the facts and be honest, we get all to humanized and act upon what isn’t at all by the standard *GOD* has given to each of us.
As I come to know my personality more and more, and allow *GOD* the ability to change that which needs changing, and heighten that which is good, to be better, I’m also discovering that there are a lot of reasons why people have tried to stay clear of me. One, I’m not the prettiest, nor am I the most educated person. No really, I’m a better writer, than a speaker. My thoughts come clearer onto paper, than through my mouth. What I want to say gets all messy, but what I want to writer; well, that does sometimes too. What I’m saying, and no, I’m not an editor, so I’m sure many have critiqued my errors. Prayerfully, have also gotten past that, and into some of the meat and potato Word of *GOD*.
Not Second Best, just second to *GOD*
Don’t ever allow someone to think you lowly because you can be humbled before *GOD*. I’ve seen a lot of pious people in my day, and no, it’s not pretty. People might even think in your humbleness you are being pious. Don’t ever confuse the two. *GOD* is not the author of confusion. Know that, and know it well. Just say “no” to the author, satan. Yes indeedy he does indeed like to confuse us. There is a difference, and yes, he knows it well. In fact he knows it so well, he’s going to take a few who believe they believe, but have never truly received, all the way to Hell with him. Now that is a true INCOMPLETE on the play, of LIFE being offered through Christ Jesus. Know that knowing Christ Jesus sets you free to choose to believe, not the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, of a lie by satan, but the very Truth that when you are in-Christ Jesus, you are free to make choices that choose His way. Do so, in the Eyes of *GOD*, brings you into “best”. You remember good, better, best, right? A “best” from *GOD* is all the conviction and approval rating we need in living our life. Do not allow man to intimidate you into making a choice that seemingly looked like a message from *GOD* when in fact it was for a better life for the person preaching it. That ladies and gentlemen is schooling you and I need to learn. The difference between a preacher, pastor, teacher, teaching and using a gift given from *GOD* for personal gain. It’s called after that person does this, the gift of intimidation. That gift, has absolutely no useful place in teaching, preaching. And yes, in the end, the come-uppins will come even for them. In fact more so, so that should, if a preacher, teacher, of *GOD*s Word is being held accountable, you will know this as well. Always confirm, never squirm. Squirming is if the Holy Spirit is convicting you, not being intimidated for the betterment of someone else.
Okay, I think that’s enough for yesterday and today 😉 .
Until all have heard of, and know His love,