Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013 … Run the Race

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 316

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – A video taken from the movie Chariots of Fire about the 1924 Olympic victory of Eric Liddell … a story of faithfulness and God’s reward of honor; and then to this link   to see a video of a powerful song performed by Steve Green, Find Us Faithful, reminding us how we must live our lives in worship of the grace God has given us to do so in this life and the next.

Highlight Passage: Ephesians 2: 10 … [In the context of verses 8-10.] … [NLT]  
8 God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
 Highlight Passage: Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 1-10 … GO TO THIS LINK … [NLT] … 

Reference Passage #1: 1st Corinthians 9: 24 … [Running the race of life to win the prize!] … [NLT] …  
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 2: 16-17 … [Holding firm to God’s path and standards in the race we call life.] … [NLT] …
 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 

 Reference Passage #3: 2nd Timothy 4: 7 … [Paul finished his race, winning the crown of victory in Christ.] … [NLT] …  
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

My Journal for Today: Today, in Os Hillman’s journal entry, he uses the wonderful story of Eric Liddell, whose life was so poignantly depicted in the Oscar winning movie, Chariots of Fire. Liddell was a British runner in the 1924 Olympics [see attached photo] who was thwarted from running the race in which he was the favorite because, being a devout Christian, he refused to run on a Sunday when his race had been scheduled. However, on the following day, he was given the opportunity to run a somewhat longer race, one for which he had not trained; but as you can view in the You Tube clip linked above, he ran and won the 400 meter race. His story was a great life example of the song to which I’ve also linked readers above with Steve Green singing, Find Us Faithful, which I will pray today God finds me as I run this race we call life.

The Apostle Paul in his letters to beloved fellow believers, which we read in the New Testament, used the word picture of life being a race several times; and we as God’s runners, as he wrote, must do all we can to use the gifts and talents God has given us to win our own race. Reading and meditating on three of those references in the passages above (i.e., see 1st Cor. 9: 24, Phil. 2: 16, and 2nd Tim. 4: 7), I’m convicted to be doing all I can – in this life – training for and running my own designated race to honor God as Eric Liddell did in the 1924 Olympics.

In today’s highlight passage from Ephesians 2: 8-10, we know that God offers freely His grace unto salvation; … but also unto sanctification as well. In other words, we who’ve received God’s free gift of salvation must then daily receive and use God’s continuing sanctifying grace to be His workmanship in the race we call life. Once we are saved, it behooves all Christians to have the attitude of faithfulness exhibited by Eric Liddell and to run the race of life in faithful pursuit of God’s grace, setting our eyes on the prize (see Phil. 3: 13-14), and running the race with all God has given us to do so, glorifying God in the process.

So, the gun has been sounded; … let’s run the race today - all out  - to win for God’s glory.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I run to and for You … and You alone. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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