Run the Race!

Posted by donna on May 3, 2016

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"We are God's workmanship ..." Ephesians 2:10

We are one month away from our AGC National Conference Run the race_colour .png (June 2-4, 2016) hosted this year by our AGC church in beautiful Banff, Alberta. Our theme is "Run the Race" and our guest speaker is Tim Schroeder, well known across Canada for his writings and speaking. Tim is a marathon runner and we are looking forward to seeing how he will unfold the theme “running with endurance the race set before us.

At times, we may focus only on how to run our best. We easily cheer on those who seem to run well and, by contrast, quietly encourage and at times, even chide those who run with halting steps, those who fear they are not keeping up.

In the Christian race, how do we balance man's responsibility with that of the overwhelming power and persevering work of the Holy Spirit at work in us? How do we balance these issues in a society that rewards excellence more than endurance?

In Ephesians 2:10, the apostle Paul says "we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  God does have a wonderful plan for our lives and we are to walk it ... or ... run it.  Yet, at times we read this verse as if we were God's workman and not simply God's workmanship. God made us for His purpose and design, not as tools in a factory or tools that only find their purpose in how well we perform.

In these Ephesian passages Paul says that God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (1:3) All we need, we have in God (3:19) and in Christ Jesus. (4:13) God has thoroughly equipped us for every good work. (2 Tim 3:17)  All the resources come from God Himself, by His indwelling Spirit. (Eph 3:19)

We are to "run with perseverance the race marked out for us" the author of Hebrews states in chapter 12:1. We persevere because we fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  We gain encouragement when we read the testimonies of faithful men and women of the past (Heb 11) who lived and died in faith.  The race is hard and it takes endurance. (Heb 12:7)  It takes strength to run this race, says the author in Hebrews 12:12.

What is the race Paul and the author of Hebrews are referring to? It is more of a walk than a run. It is the walk of faith and trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, God incarnate. It is a life of obedience, observing the claims and commands of Christ and trusting in Him alone. It is more endurance than excellence. It is dependence and not performance. Yet, God still requires and indeed demands that we roll up our metaphorical sleeves and get to work ... work which He has already designed for us to do in faith, in trust and in love to His glory.  So, let's keep running!

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Willem Fietje

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