Saturday, December 15, 2007

Training for the race

I am preparing for a year with a group of men from our church. I have invited about a dozen men to join me for a one year odyssey of faith. I am going to title this year, "Training for the race" because of the two verses that use this language in the bible. Paul uses this language to describe his own walk of faith, and so I plan to use this same language to bring focus to this year together.
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In my own life I see that I easily lose my focus on what's important if I don't keep my eyes on the goal. The dilemma for most of us is actually knowing where the goal is, so it's easy to get distracted. There are a lot of things that are part of this race-the world, work, family, etc. It's not simply a 100 yard sprint down a track to a finish line I can see. It doesn't take just 10 seconds and then I'm done. This race takes a lifetime...it's a marathon, not a sprint, and the finish line is not in sight for many years. When I first realized this, that it will take my whole life, it changed how I live.
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So, I need your help....if you were to join me in this year of training for the race what would you want to study, what would you want to know? What do you need to help you grow in your life? What do you need to train for your race? Based on these scriptures would you give me your suggestions for what you would want to know to help you in YOUR race to the finish line?
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1 Cor. 9:24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.
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Heb. 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

2 comments:

Toneman said...

Mike,
I can only say what I would have loved to learn when I was young in the faith. But rather than having someone teach me this, I had to piece meal it together over a period of 15-20 years. I think knowing some of these things would have saved me from making a lot of sinful decisions and foolishness that did not honor God:
1. What the Bible as a whole is about (getting a big picture).
2. How to study the bible and more importantly how to APPLY it not just heap up knowledge.
3. With SO many interpretations and viewpoints, how to determine what is right, and what is important (is there a way to tech discernment?).
4. The rest is just relationship to walk alongside to encourage, weep with and rejoice with, and instilling a model that can be duplicated.
Brother, alot of this you gave me, thanks for your love and encoruagement in my life!

Anonymous said...

Thinking back over years of following and learning I think one area that I got to late might be a good place to start. We tipically start training by learning all the rules, memorizing the how-to's. What I did not get a good grounding in was the Atributes of God, the target to aim for. An understanding of the Person we were created to be the image of might make it easier to reach the goal. Mike McMaster