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There are so many things in life that are distracting to our walk with The Lord. Each day we have the opportunity to lose heart, to get weary, & to quit.

Galatians 6:9

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

We must run the race nobly…

Nobly – courageous, bravely, gallantly, honorably, honestly, justly, fairly, respectably…

The only way to have these characteristic in your life is through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:8-10

Amplified Bible (AMP)

8 For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light].

9 For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life.

10 And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him].

Yield daily to the Holy Spirit who will led you & produce in you those characteristic that will allow you to endure to the end.

Run to win the Prize…

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.

It is not by your human will or effort…

Romans 9:16

So then [God’s gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God’s mercy. [It depends not on one’s own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God’s having mercy on him.

Don’t let others hinder you…

Galatians 5:7

You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?

So many times we let other people’s opinions, comments, & ways affect our lives. Although we are in this world we are not of this world. We are to walk in the light & not allow others to stop us or to hinder us from what God is doing in us.

As we walk in the Light God will bring us to a place where we are a light to others.

Be the light to others & don’t let your labour be in vain…

Daily we influence someone else. Sometime for good & sometimes for bad. We not only run the race for ourselves but we need to help others across the finish line. There are many in life that have given up & quit. We need to be alert for opportunities that we can encourage them, pick them up, or carry them across the finish line if need be….

There are many stories where many were running a race & someone fell, soon the crowd watches while another runner stops & goes back to help the fallen runner across the finish line. That is what we need to do. It is not about who gets across the finish line first, we need to help as many as possible to make it.

What about across the denominational lines? Why do we not help our brother & sister in The Lord. We all are working for the same Lord & for the same reason…to reach souls for the Kingdom. Why do we shun or over look another because we have our own thing going, even though working together would reach even more souls?

Let not your labour be in vain.

Philippians 2:14-16

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Remember others who went before you….

We have so many examples in the bible & in life of those who have fought the good fight of faith. Their testimony encourages us to press on, to go forward, to fight the good fight, & to finish the race.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us…

So let’s lay aside our differences, help one another, & run this race. Pick up others along the way, stay in the race, & endure until the end. Too hard is not a reason to quit…

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What if the standard that you live by is off just a little from God’s standard?

What if you changed just a little from where you used to be? you used to not watch certain movies, but now they are OK. You used to not go places, but now it is OK. You used to not talk a certain way, but now it is OK. 

The world’s standard has changed so much, how much have we changed with it? 

You used to study 1 hr a day, now it is a half hr or sometimes not at all. Look back in the old days and how they used to live. We are so far from that today. 

What happens to a plane that is off course even just a little? No matter what, it would be more & more off course each day. (of course unless it got back on track) But if it didn’t then over years it would be so far off that it would not go where it started off to go.

What if that has happened to the christian world? We are so far from the standard of the old timers, that we can not recognize the church from the world.

Where is the line? Why are we so close to it? THe bible says “Be ye holy for I am holy. Where are we? How are we comparing weather we are holy or not? WIth others? With Self?

Where are we? How far off course are we? What if what we are doing & being is even a little off??

Matt 7:13-14  Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.

    But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

Narrow: to crowd, afflict, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble, (a rut, or worn track-path)

Wow, we run from tribulation & suffering, but that is where the narrow gate is. 

We are so far off that vs 21-23 will be what happens to most people who think they are on track.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

    22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

    23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

What if what we were when we first got saved is the narrow gate? I have heard people say, “when I first got saved I went to church 3-5 days a week”, I read & prayed all day, “I couldn’t tell enough people about Jesus.” But somehow over time we allow our time to be stolen form us. Our time with God gets less & less. Tell someone about Jesus, well that is the preachers job.

We let circumstances change us. 

Rev. 2:1-29; 3:1-22

1st church = good works, good labor, patience, but off just a little: left their first love.

Which of the 7 churches are we like? What if we are off just a little. 

1 Jn. 2:28-29 – will we shrink at His coming?

28 And now, little children, abide (live, remain permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.

    29 If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [God].

Will we shrink at His coming because we are off just a little?

Gal. 1:6 

6 I am surprised and astonished that you are so quickly turning renegade and deserting Him Who invited and called you by the grace (unmerited favor) of Christ (the Messiah) [and that you are transferring your allegiance] to a different [even an opposition] gospel.

Galatians 1:6 (King James Version)

 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

How far removed are we???

Gal 5:7 Galatians 5:7 (King James Version)

  7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Who has hindered you???

Heb. 3:13-14 Hebrews 3:13-14 (Amplified Bible)

13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].

    14 For we have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

1) We need to hold on to our newborn state: trust & confidence in him.

Lamentations 3:40-41 (Amplified Bible)

40 Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord!

    41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands [and then with them mount up in prayer] to God in heaven: 

2) Examine our ways.

Hosea 10:12 (Amplified Bible)

12 Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.

3) Don’t be hasty to leave the presence of God. (stay in His presence)

4) Break up your uncultivated ground

5) Seek God.

Today is the day of salvation, now is the expectable time. Seek Him today while He can still be found. Examine yourselves, if you are off a little, get back on track today. Don’t wait until it is to late.

2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

ARE YOU IN THE FAITH???

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