Day 128: May 8, 2023

Run the Race and Finish Strong!

Key Verse to Read and Treasure:

The race is not give not to the swift or the strong but to those who endure to the end (Ecclesiastes 9:11, )

For Insight

I was working on today’s devotion when I remembered I wanted to see the Kentucky Derby and I’m glad I stopped to watch did. I don’t follow the horse races any other time of year, but I like to see this race with all its pomp beforehand. It was a great race with a horse named Mage coming out as the winner. As quickly as the race was over and the jockey, Javier Castellano was interviewed, the first thing he said was, “First of all I give glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for helping me run this race and giving me the victory.”  Way to go, Javier!

We only have one thing to do in this life and that is run the race and finish strong declaring victory through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

About running our race which Bible verse is your favorite?

“Therefore, since we are surround by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that us set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endure the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:1-2) or,

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) or,

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” (I Corinthians 9:24) or, the one we have for today,

Difficult to choose? They are all awesome and on point. They all point us to what we can do through Jesus Christ. Each one inspires us to keep going and keep pressing for that final prize of heaven.

It took Javier Castellano 16 times to win the Kentucky Derby. When he was asked what he did when it was taking so long, he said “I just kept trying.”

This life will be hard on us. We will lose some battles along the way. Every war won’t end in victory. We won’t always come out as the winner. We won’t always get the trophy or the ribbon. Sometimes we will lose. Sometimes we will be pummeled. Sometimes we will stumble. Sometimes we will feel faint and want to give up. Sometimes we will feel like giving in, but the Scriptures tell us to stay in the race until the very end, run it with Jesus and we will be victorious.     

Your race will look different from mine. Some will run their race battling poverty and hunger and homelessness. Some will run their race enduring sickness and pain. Some will run their race staying strong undergoing abuses of all kinds. Some will run their race imprisoned for a crime they didn’t (or did) commit. Some will run their race while undergoing persecution, injustice, and discrimination. Some as they daily battle addictions. It’s less about what our race looks like than Who is in the race with us.

In the New Living Translation Ecclesiastes 9:11 reads this way,

“I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives…

A successful race is not about having all the advantages or even being disadvantaged but that you run it with Jesus. It’s not about our external conditions but our internal spiritual connection to the Vine. He can get you through and get you to the finished line and you can be like Javier saying, “First of all I give glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for helping me run this race and giving me the victory.”  

Jesus, help me run my race. Thank you for letting me know it doesn’t matter what my obstacles are, just that I keep running it with you. Amen.   

Ask Yourself

What’s my race looking like? How am I doing?  

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