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Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Christian Race

The following devotional was written by my oldest son, Zachary.  He gave it for the youth group recently.  The stories he found online and the three points he got from a sermon somewhere online.  Other points are his own.

Nine Athletes

Some time ago at the Seattle Olympics, nine athletes, all mentally or physically challenged, were standing on the start line for the 100 m race.  The gun was fired and the race began.  Not everyone was running, but everyone wanted to participate and win.  They ran in threes, a boy tripped and fell, did a few somersaults and started crying. The other eight heard him crying. They slowed down and looked behind them.  They stopped and came back.  All of them. A girl with Down's Syndrome sat down next to him, hugged him and asked, "Feeling better now?"  Then, all nine walked shoulder to shoulder to the finish line.  The whole crowd applauded.  And the applause lasted a very long time.  People who witnessed this still talk about it.  Why?  Because deep down inside us, we all know that the most important thing in life is much more than winning for ourselves.  The most important thing is to help others win.
- Author Unknown -

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

FIRST, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST RUN WITH CONFIDENCE (SELF-WORTH):  In 1 John 3:1, God tells us how important we are. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"

SECOND, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST RUN WITH THE RIGHT MOTIVATION:  One of the greatest motivating factors for living our lives for the Lord is the grace of God.  "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." 1 Corinthians 15:10.

On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people.

One survived:  a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.

News accounts say that when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane.  Investigators first assumed that Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed.  But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name.  

Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seatbelt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her parent's love  - neither tragedy or disaster, neither life or death.

This same love is the love the Savior has for each of us. He left heaven, lowered himself to us, and covered us with the sacrifice of his own body to save us.

THIRD, TO WIN THE CHRISTIAN RACE, WE MUST TURN SETBACKS INTO COME BACKS:  "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything, " James 1:4.  Never give up!  No matter what happens, we must never give up on our faith.  Things will always get better.



2 comments:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Good job, Zachary! Stories have a way of sticking with us - I think that's why Jesus told so many!

Joe said...

That was a great read, esecially the story about the mother and the child, reminds me of what Paul said; Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 
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