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This Christian Race
by Ngozi Nwoke
8/19/2020 / Christian Living
If you're saved in Christ, do you know that you're in a Christian race to heaven? Many Christians are so casual about this truth that they're missing it, and they are not even aware of it. Christianity is a race. And the sooner, Christians become serious with it, the greater their chances of making it to the finishing line.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified - I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV).
The state of the nominal Christian
Many believing Christians act as if Christianity is only about giving your life to Christ. And many have remained with this mindset for many years. So, they end up not being different from an unbeliever, except that they keep telling themselves that they're believers. However, this is a deceit from the pit of hell.
It's unfortunate that many believing Christians take their career or business more seriously than they do their Christian life. And they spend all the time, energy, and money to prepare and acquire what they desire concerning their work, mental or physical goals. But they will spend little or no time for their spiritual life. This is because they consider it as being trivial. And this is what the enemy wants them to believe so that they will miss the crown.
The Christian race
Christianity is a race and we're gunning for the imperishable crown which God will give all who will run to obtain it. So, you're to run, observing the rules, in order to obtain the crown. Also, you're to run with certainty, not like one beating the air aimlessly. Furthermore, you need to discipline yourself so that you will not miss it on that day.
The devil has no good intention for anyone. So, he will keep you busy chasing temporary things instead of things that are of eternal value. And he'll keep you from focusing on the truth that you're a pilgrim on your way to heaven.
Christianity is a race! It's time we all wake up and do the needful, running this race with the imperishable crown in view.
At home in the body and absent from God (2 Corinthians 5:6)
To focus on gratifying your fleshly desires is being absent from the Lord. And gratifying your flesh means that your earthly desires and goals are more important to you than the things of God. And you're displeasing the Father by doing so. But the Almighty wants you to make Him first in your life, be at home with Him, and please Him at all times.
At the end of our lives here on earth, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of our lives on earth. And everyone is rewarded according to what he or she has done, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). So, you need to live prepared to face this judgment seat of Christ. Therefore, don't be carefree or careless about your Christian life, rather take it seriously.
The terror of the Lord
God's love is great and everlasting but after you close your eyes in death, His love won't save you again. Also, His mercy endures forever as long as you're alive but His mercy won't save you after death. For, while on earth He has spoken that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord should depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19). And His standard He will not lower for anyone. Anyone who misses the imperishable crown is cast into the fiery burning furnace without mercy (Matthew 13:42).
Do the will of the Father
Jesus Christ made it clear in Matthew 7:21, that not everyone who calls Him Lord will make heaven, but only those who do the will of His Father in heaven. So, it's not enough being a believing Christian or a hearer of the Lord's word, you must also do what the Lord says. This will liken you to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And when flood and all manner of challenges came, it didn't fall (Matthew 7:24-25).
Therefore, don't take the grace of God in vain. Also, don't be unequally yoked with unbelievers, rather be separate from them (2 Corinthians 6:1, 14, 17). And run this Christian race to the end, living your life as one who may face the judgment seat of Christ any time.
Christianity is a race that is on now, whether you're ready or not. Even if every other thing is making demands on you, you must not allow it to distract you from this race. However important that thing may be, it's still temporary and has no eternal value. And no matter the challenge you are facing now, it's also temporary and will pass away. Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58).
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, counselor, and author of "Peace Money Can't Buy" and "The Man Jesus". She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God's love, and Christian living for a more fulfilling life. Want a more fulfilling life? Subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com
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