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SISTERS IN GERMANY.....Hallelujah - You can run the Christian Race Acceptably

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The Christian Race - Hebrew 12!

We have a race to run - the race to eternity with Christ.

The race described in Hebrew 12 has rules and steps on how to proceed. Like every other race, it will be judged by three parties - God Almighty, crowd of witnesses and Satan.

Man is born in iniquity and so we all have our different history of unfaithfulness, sin and iniquity, fornication, cheating and telling lies before we met Christ.  So upon receiving Christ, we received a new Spirit - The Spirit of God, while our soul and body await gradual transformation through the Word of God we apprehend and apply daily.

So, giving your heart to Christ, enrolls you into the race to eternal life.  This race is a conscious marathon race which we enter without knowing the nature, rules or the depth.  But as we search the bible daily, we begin to gain understanding of who we are, who our Maker is, His likes and dislikes.

As we continue to study His word and looking steadfastly onto Jesus Christ, our understanding begins to change and divine revelations begins to envelope us and make us conscious of God's word and His requirements.  We begin to understand the purpose of our creation.  We also understand that there is a race before us - the race to eternal life.

Over time, we will soon understand that the race is not a physical race, but spiritual.  The race is not ran in isolation of other things, rather as you seek to fulfill your purpose in life, as you go to school, get job, open a business, eat in restaurant and dance in the club, you are fulfilling the race. As you do everything in your power to be rich, have joy and pleasures of life, you are fulfilling the race.  When you cheat your friends and steal what does not belong to you, you are still in the race.

The race enters a new level when you get married, which means that soon, you will have your wife or husband to deal with, your in-laws, children and in-laws and friends.  The crowd of witnesses the bible spoke about is increasing and they begin to watch what you are doing in the open and in the secret and before long, the matured ones among your crowd of witnesses can say, from your actions and in-actions, where your heart and where you belong...To God or Satan. 

Beloved, this is the race of life and race to eternity.  It comes with a unique test of your understanding of who God is and your level of obedience to His word.  It tests and shows where our heart is, where our trust and believe is at every point in time as children of God.  THIS IS WHY, IF ANY MAN LOOSES FOCUS ON CHRIST, HE CANNOT MAKE THE RACE TO THE FINISHING LINE. This is because, Jesus Christ is the Word, and Life, without eating His flesh and drinking His blood every day through the study of His Word, such a person is dead, though they live.

You will recall that at one time, God told the children of Israel that some of the tests that came to them on their way to the promised land was to test them and know where their heart was - In the Lord Almighty or in Egypt.  

So, the race show our different levels of maturity in Christ - but God is merciful.  He knows all of us and our different levels in Him, He knows what investments He has made in our lives and that explains why He did not judge Mary - the Virgin as He judged Zachariah - a serving Priest in Israel.

The Race:

The race is a life long marathon race that begins when we meet Jesus Christ, and enter the family of God's children.  The race is meant to show how much of His Word we have learnt since we became born again as well as how much of the Word we are obeying.

In the race, God is watching, the devil is watching and the world is watching to see what type of Christian we are. So the crowd of cloud of witnesses surrounding us are there to encourage or discourage the runner.  Because our God is faithful, He gave us the rules  to follow throughout the race and those rules are thus:

The Rules:

1. Look Unto Jesus:  The first rule is that we should look unto Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

2. Lay aside every weight that easily restrict us.  “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.  This race has rules, but no one is ready to stop you along the line if you are no longer compliant, so you have to continually examine yourself, whether you are still fit for the race or not.  If you decide to carry your load of sin, iniquity and lies and enter the race, you are simply on your own as the race will not profit you.

The man or woman that want to succeed must therefore renounce and reject every sin, the sin of the heart, sin of the flesh and sin of the body.  This is why many are called , but few chosen - those who abide by the rules are the chosen ones in the midst.  You know the areas of your weakness and so should pray hard and take steps to overcome those areas of weakness, resisting even with your breadth.

3. Run with Patience - Remember it is an endurance race, so you need patience to start and complete the race.  Winning this race will require great endurance, perseverance, patience, and resolve. Victory necessitates that we run with undying persistence and steadfast endurance until we arrive at the finish line victorious.  There are hardship in the race, persecution, Temptations and all forms of distractions to make the runner loose focus.  There are offences, rejections by loved ones and those sent to hinder you directly and indirectly.  

4. In addition to Patience, the race is full of obstacles: - Barriers, hurdles, and hazards. They can't be avoided or erased. They come in different sizes and at different stages.  Therefore, to succeed in the race, you must run with God's standard in mind.  

Beloved, you must run the race with Love in your heart, forbearance, forgiveness, long suffering, kindness and meekness because you will be dealing with human beings and if you are not patient, you will mis-judge people and if you cannot forgive offence, then God will not forgive your own offence and if your offences are not forgiven by God, eternity will elude that runner.

5. Be ready for Chastisement of the Lord - If you accept the chastisement of the Lord, He dealeth with you as a son, otherwise if you refuse His chastisement and look for 'short cut' to success; if you rather compromise and get to the top rather than waiting for God's time, you are but a bastard and not a son.

6. Endure hardship as discipline: - God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!  

God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Heb 12:7-11 

7. The secret to winning the race: - Is to live a Christlike life, never giving up, but getting up each time you fall down and continue the race.  Don’t look back, never thing you have arrived, but consider the word of Paul to the Philippians - “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

8. Get constant encouragement: You must learn to encourage yourselves in the Lord, when the trouble becomes overwhelming...fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Be ready to endure pain, hardship and other challenges that come with the word like persecution and rejection.  

Comfort yourselves with the word of Paul in the book of Acts, when it was time for him to face opposition in Jerusalem - He said he was determined to go to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:22-24).


Test of Acceptable Christian Race:

The race will be measured by the Tests you passed while running.  The test you are able to pass shows your spiritual level and the quality of christian  life you live and these tests will also show you what the end result will be, if you endure to the end of the race. 

The following tests will confront and test you, as you are expected to run with all these grace and abilities.

Test of Joy : -  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Test of Faith: -  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 

Test of Humility: -  The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business. 

Test of Endurance - Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 

Test of Temptation: - When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 

Test of Appreciation -  Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. 

Test of Christian Maturity: - My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 

Test of Obedience: - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does. 

Test of True Born Again: - If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Test of Love: -  God is not prayer, fasting, God is not righteousness. God is love and every child of God should be a child of Love and show it every step along the race of life as well.  Your faith works with Love and without love your faith is dead already.  


Beloved, let us humble ourselves before the Lord by examining our lives and make every necessary amendments that will make our race worthy and the end of it victorious.

The fire of God burning in you will not go down. May the Lord increase His grace upon your life and help you to run the race successful.


FIRE...
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