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The Heat of The Race

Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and [trials], which befell me by the [plotting] of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: [Except] that the Holy Ghost [testifies] in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions [await] me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am [innocent] from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:19-27 I once participated in a night run with my cousin. It was an 8K race in May and the Arizona night turned out to be quite warm. I started off fine but as the kilometers went by, I soon ran out of gas. I looked for water stations so that I could stop and catch my breath, but there were none in sight. I learned later that someone had stolen the water stations, which some found humorous, but I obviously did not. I struggled the whole race and my cousin pushed me to keep me going. We finally found water about 3/4 through, but I was well spent. I did the old man shuffle and finally made it to the finish line leaving pieces of me along the race track. I was dehydrated, sore, and felt the worse I had ever felt. I recall the finish line picture with my cousin smiling and me with the look of a man who had cheated death, but just barely. The Apostle Paul was faithful in running the race of the Christian life, even though he encountered adversity along the way. He knew that bonds and affliction awaited him, but he trusted in God to lead Him in the right way. He was faithful to the end and even disregarded his own life so that he could testify of the gospel of the grace of God. He had done his best for the LORD and had a clean conscience because he was obedient unto the will of God. He struggled as he neared the finish line, but he continued to press on for the glory of God. What about you friend? Are you running the race God has laid before you for the glory of God, or are you running your own race for your own benefit? Are you concerned about what may befall you, or are you trusting in God to strengthen you along the way? Will you forsake your own life to do that which He has commanded you to do? May we be moved to action for our God and may we not be swayed and distracted by this world. We have one life to live and may we finish the race strong until He calls us home. Stay in the fight! Saso

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