Because my family and I are involved in children’s church ministries on Sundays, we rarely hear a morning sermon. Instead, we all have favorite pastors and speakers that we listen to throughout the week, via Spotify, YouTube, or sermonaudio.com.
This week, I listened to a message by Paul Chappell, senior pastor at Lancaster Baptist Church in California, in which he intended to prepare the hearts of his congregation for the Lord’s Supper.
He discussed the metaphorical race as put forth in various New Testament passages, asking his listeners to consider how a Christian should approach the marathon that is our journey to Heaven.
He brought out some key points, which I have condensed and put into my own words.
Don’t watch other racers as you run.
If you look at runners ahead of you, you might get discouraged and step out of God’s will for your life, as you attempt to catch up.
Don’t look behind you at runners who slow down or stumble, as you might become proud or complacent, and slow your own pace.
Don’t look down at yourself. You can’t watch your feet and expect to stay on course.
Instead, look to the finish line where the prize of Jesus Christ awaits.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14
Jesus is the only one to whom we should compare ourselves. In so doing, we will find ourselves both humbled and inspired to stay on track. We will eliminate gossip and finger-pointing. We will embrace the peace that comes when we know we are running the race he intends for us.
Are you running your race as Christ intends? Are you able to focus on him when the pace becomes difficult? I welcome your thoughts, as well as your own metaphors for the Christian life.