|Winning the Race
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|RidleyBoDidley [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:02 am ]
|Winning the Race
I have heard coon hunting referred to as “the race”. From the time the dog strikes the scent the race is on. I really enjoyed so many races, and in competition hunting, winning that race with my dogs.
I also had a love of racing cars. In my younger days (when things were a lot different) – we would drag race on the country roads around Lookout Mountain or go to the drag strip on Saturdays. I always wanted to win (and a lot of times I did). I was just a poor kid – but I knew how to work on cars – what to do to make them go fast. I would piece them together for speed and was not afraid to drive them as fast as they could go.
As I got older though, I found a new love - a love for the Lord. He so graciously looked down on me and called me many times before I came to him. I was in desperate shape when He reached down to the bottom of the barrel and lifted me out. He called me to a love like I never knew before.
He did so much for me and I found myself in a new race. This race was the race to win at any cost (the race of my life). A race to live my life for Him and to take everyone I could along with me to Him. This race is not an easy race, it is a race filled with obstacles set up by Satan to deter us from winning. It is a race that takes everything we have – it takes a lot of praying and trusting in God to overcome those obstacles. It is something that we really have to work on. The Bible refers to it as pressing to the mark (the finish line, I like to think).
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
We have to put aside the things that hinder us and look to Jesus who is the one who gives us the faith to run. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be saved. He is at the right hand of the God and is interceding for us every day. He is kind of like our pit-crew. When ever we need anything to help in the race, we just pray to Jesus and He fixes the problem.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
God’s word tells us to run this race to obtain the prize. A lot of people start the race, but not everyone will finish. We need to study God’s word, seek His will for our lives, and seek His Holy Spirit to fuel and empower us to win this race.
1 Corinthians 9:24
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
With God leading us in this race, we don’t have to worry about having the strength to finish the race. We can soar like the eagle - with Him we can run and not get weary.
Isaiah Chapter 40
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
My last message was about being certain. Please make certain that you are in the race and that you are in it to win.
On July 27th, I won my race. I tried my best to fight the good fight and I kept my faith in Jesus. I have won my crown. Let me encourage you to run the race of life to win at all cost.
2 Timothy 4:7
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Carol Ridley on behalf of Don
William Donald Ridley
February 25, 1948 – July 27, 2019