Life Is A Race Ordained of God For all to pass No matter your colour Nation, language or class.
The Race starts at New Birth When you’re Born Again Before then you were dead in sin Separated, alienated from God.
You begin the race as a new born babe Needing the milk of the Word to grow. You grow from ‘babyhood’ to ‘childhood’ To ‘adolescence,’ ‘teenager’ to ‘adulthood’ . Each stage is a phase in this race of life.
There’s preparation required for each stage. The strength of your foundations is vital. It determines how far and high you can go. Some sleep and slip by the way side, fall And never get up. Others also fall but get up
and dust off and keep going.
In this Race of Life, you need good focus. Distractions will come, and they’re many. You must run with patience looking at Jesus,
Who began your race and will finish it.
The good work He began in you,
He will complete. No need to worry or be afraid.
In this Race of life, you need mentors-
Those gone ahead that you can emulate.
You must move from milk to meat,
Study to show yourself approved.
You must pray without ceasing,
Growing your faith through hearing the Word.
Discipline and pay the price
Carry your cross to get the prize,
You’re in this race right now
Do well all you know how.
Run well with patience
Run well with endurance
Fix your eyes on Jesus
Never despise the cross
Never shirk from your cross
Set your eyes on the crown ahead
Press on to finish, well ahead, the head.
Striving for a Crown
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Heb 12:1, 1Cor 9:24-27
Hebrews 12: The Race of Faith
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2looking 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2
Fixing your Focus
When you’re single-minded
Like Mary who focused on Jesus;
Like Paul who forgot the past
And looked to what was ahead
And pressed on for Mark
Of the prize 🏆 of the High Calling.
Fixing your Focus.
Requires full attention
Refusing to give in to
And others cohorts.
Fixing Your Focus
Of the Master
Who defied vilification
And the crucifixion.
And prayed for His enemies
And bore the shame and pain
For the purpose, He was born.
Fixing your focus
When seeking God’s face
Will bring His grace
And divine Direction.
The Holy Spirit will
Give you instruction
Guidance and counsel
As He speaks to you.
Hebrews 12:2 “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.” Nehemiah 6:4 “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono.” But they thought to do me harm.
3 So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”
4 But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner.
5 Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand.
I put my body under The Word of God. I dig deep further, To get the gem of the Word; To get the meat of the Word; To get the kernel of the Word; To get the rhema of the Word.
I put my Body under. I refuse to shudder. If God be for me, Who can be against me. I am Word-controled And self-controled; Spirit-led and controled.
I put my body under As to soar higher; Becoming better, And not bitter; Becoming so disciplined As to conquer and to win.
I put my body under. I put my soul under. I put my spirit under. I let the mind of Christ rule. I let the Holy Spirit rule. I let the Word of God rule.
I put my body under. Not my will but His will be done. Therefore I shall not go under for going over.
I give no opportunity for the flesh to reign. I give to foothold for the foe to reign. I give God full sway for His Spirit to reign. I give give God full sway for His dynamic, living and razor-sharp Word to reign.
I put my body under As I run the Race of Grace. I run with focus, direction and passion. I run with finesse to finish well. I follow my routines with determination, giving no place to the flesh, the world or the devil. I walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. I walk by the Word of God and not by the word of man. I walk by my convictions and not by my convenience. Sin shall not have dominion over me. God and His Word have dominion over me.
I keep my body under Even as I preach to others. I will practise what I preach. If the Spirit of Him Who raised
Is a New Creation, Born from above, Blood- bought, Blood-kept, Created in the image of God To have dominion over all principalities and powers.
Gen1:26,28, Jn3:3,5,8, 1Pet1:1:18-19, 2Cor5:17
The Soldier of Christ…
Soldiers on, presses on Perseveres long, He may fall seven times but he rises again. He may be hard-pressed but he is not crushed He may be perplexed but is not in despair He may be persecuted but is not abandoned He may be knocked down but he is never knocked out. He uses the valley of Bacca as a place of spring To spring up to the glory of God. He goes from strength to strength and From glory to glory and faith to faith. He presses on for the mark of the prize of his high-calling in Christ Jesus. He puts principalities and powers Where they belong- under his feet.
P84:6-7,Phil3:10-14, 2Cor4:8-9, 2Tim2:3-4
The Soldier of Christ…
Rejoices always. In everything he gives thanks, Knowing that it is the will of God for him in Christ Jesus. He prays without ceasing, Wins his battles on his knees. He fights battles but knows that Christ has won the war.
1Thess5:16-18, 1Jn3:8, Col2:15, Phil4:4, Jn16:33
The Soldier of Christ…
Does not fear any evil Even though he passes through The valley of the shadow of death, Because he knows he is not alone God is always with him by His Spirit. He walks by faith and not by sight. He does not cast away his confidence, Knowing that in it is a great reward.
Ps23:4, 2Cor5:7, Heb10:35
The Soldier of Christ…
He uses opposition to obtain promotion; Uses calamity and adversity as springboards For climbing the ladder of life to a higher playing field. He looks not at the things which are seen But the things which are unseen, Knowing that the things which are seen Are temporary, transient and passing away, But the things which are unseen are eternal. He knows that his light afflictions are working for him An exceeding weight of eternal glory. When he is tested, he knows that he will come forth like gold and that better will be his end than his beginning, like Job of old.
Uses adverse winds to Soar like an eagle, to glory land of opportunity, Maturity and durability and fortitude. His attitude is one that brings altitude. Stormy winds that come to him only come to fulfil God’s will because all things work together for his good; because he loves God and is called according to purpose.
Ps148:8, Rom8:28, Isa40:31
The Soldier of Christ…
Is loved with everlasting love And the love of God is shed abroad in his heart. He loves like Christ, lays down his life for others Thinks like Christ because he has the mind of Christ. He sets his mind on things above – not on earthly things. Because he knows that although he is in this world, he is not of the world. He is just an actor, a visitor, a traveller en route heaven. He is citizen of heaven. He is an ambassador of Christ, God’s field, chosen of God a co-worker with God with a ministry of reconciliation. He knows that as new creature in Christ Jesus, the old has gone and the new has come. He is more than a conqueror and a partaker of the divine nature and an imitator of Christ. He dies daily by disciplining himself as a disciple of Christ. He welcomes the discipline of the Lord, know that it is for his good- enable him bring forth fruit, a harvest of righteousness To the glory of God
He can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. All things are his through Christ. All things are possible for him because he believes in the God who makes all things possible and with whom nothing is impossible. All things, and that means, ALL things work together for good for him because he loves God and is the called according to purpose. Ro8:28, Matt19:26, Phil4:13,1Cor3:23
The greater One indwells the Soldier of Christ, And this is the Holy Spirit Who inspires him, propels him, controls him, guides him, comforts him, strengthens him, empowers him, intercedes for him, corrects him, rebukes him, instructs him, gives him revelation knowledge that is above natural knowledge and endows him with the gifts of the Spirit for the service of encouraging, edifying the Body and for the work of ministry. He is totally yielded to Him.
He endures hardness as a good soldier of Christ and fights the good fight of faith. He is passionate about his vision And sets his face like a flint to finish it with finesse Like his Master, Jesus, like Paul did, like David did, like Joseph did. He looks to Jesus always as the Author and Finisher of his faith He suffers with Christ as to reign with Him. He knows that as Christ is so he is. He is the light of the world A city on the hill, a salt of the earth and determines to live up to Christ’s expectation- not by his might nor by power but by the power of the Holy Spirit. He knows he has authority in Christ to rule and reign with Him and exercises this authority in all areas of his life.
Whilst often he suffers violence, he does not Surrender but takes the kingdom of God by force. He exercises dominion over principalities and powers and diabolical spirits arrayed against him and makes a public spectacle of them like Jesus using the power that Jesus gave him over all the power of the enemy. He says what God says, agrees with the word of God, believes God’s report regardless of what he sees or hears or what people say. He is not perturbed by bad news And remains of good cheer because he knows that Although in the world he would have tribulation he knows that Christ has overcome the world. Therefore he has also overcome because of the indwelling Spirit. He has a different spirit like Joshua and Caleb, Like Paul , like David who was a man after God’s own heart. No weapon fashioned against him prospers. When the enemy comes like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord raises a standard against him. He gives thanks in everything, knowing that it is the will of God for him in Christ Jesus. He has an excellent spirit like Daniel and Joseph and does whatever he does to his utmost and to the glory of God.
Matt11:12, Isa54:17, Isa59:19, Dan12, Dan1:8,20, 1Sam13:14
Gen39:1-6,Num13 and 14, Luke 10:19, Jn16:33, 1Jn5:4, Ps112:7,Col1:17,23
The Soldier of Christ…
… does not entangle himself with the affairs of this world But always ready to move when the cloud moves, Because he is led of the Holy Spirit and not by his five senses. He is prepared to be a ‘fool’ for God because he knows that the foolishness of God is wiser that the wisdom of men. He is addicted to the word and fellowship with God. That is why he abides in the word, wallows in it, delights in it more than his daily food like Job. He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of God-mockers. His delight is in the word of God and on His word he meditates day and night. And for this reason he is like a tree planted by the streams of water that brings
forth its fruit in due season. And whatever he does prospers.
is a warrior He is ever ready to give a testimony of
Whose he is and who he is in Christ and what Christ has done for
him and the reason for his hope. He is not ashamed of the gospel, knowing that it is the power of God for the salvation of those who believe.
The soldier of Christ …
Does not leave himself vulnerable to the enemy but puts on the whole armour of God as to stand in the evil day. Hence he covers his mind with the helmet of salvation To prevent, ward off, and guard against every insinuation and wicked suggestion of the devil. He puts on the belt of truth to expose every lie of the enemy whom he knows is a father lies. He also lifts the shield of faith above all to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the enemy. He uses this defensive weapon by confessing the word of God like Jesus did: it is written …It is written… It is written… He calls those things which be not as though they are and sees from a divine perspective. He is well-booted with the gospel of peace, spreading the good news of salvation which includes healing and deliverance and prosperity and soundness of mind- the whole man. He does not forget the robe of right-standing with God that Jesus gave him and does not stand in his own righteousness which he knows is like a filthy rag before God.
Renews his mind with the word of God and has the mind of Christ by imitating him in all he does. The soldier of Christ loves as Christ loves, overcomes evil with good, prays for his enemies, does good to those who despitefully use him, does not allow the root of bitterness to grow in him but forgives as Christ forgave him.
The Road to True Greatness
Begins with Jesus
Taking rightful place
Communing with Him
Hearing His voice
Doing His will
Driven by purpose
Paying the price
To get the prize
The Road to greatness:
Fraught with challenges
Obstacles and uncertainties
Valley and mountains
Bears and lions
Goliaths and giants
Opposition and trials
Persecution and tribulation
But you forge on
As a champion
In the Name of the Son
Using the powerful word
Standing on the promises
Praying the promises
Taking steps of faith
Spending and being spent
Pushing and pressing
Till something happens
You dream big dreams
See beyond the seen
See through God’s eyes
Refusing to limit Him
Till your purpose is done.
Acts9, 2Cor11:23-12:10, Gen39,
41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. -41:41,
Neh1:11…. I was the king’s cupbearer.
5:14… 14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.John19:30
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
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.
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Romans 12: Living Sacrifices to God
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.Rom12:1-2
Ephesians 5: Walk in Love
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.John17:14
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ” I will dwell in themAnd walk among them.I will be their God,And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore ” Come out from among themAnd be separate, says the Lord.Do not touch what is unclean,And I will receive you.”
18 ” I will be a Father to you,And you shall be My sons and daughters,Says the LORD Almighty.”
Teach your child to ask themselves these two questions: 1) ‘How will I feel afterwards?’ What outlasts our decisions are the subsequent feelings of self-respect versus shame, and positive self-worth versus negative self-worth. Our actions ultimately become history, but our thoughts about them continue to shape our future. ‘Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.’ Children with self-respect are much less likely to indulge in promiscuous sex, drugs, drinking, antisocial and illegal behaviours. Self-respect and self-worth are internal standards which we are loathed to violate. Giving in to selfish choices is like abandoning the moral core of our being-the sacred soul God gave us. 2) ‘How will the people I value feel about me after this decision?’ The trust and respect of others is always needed to succeed. Reputation trumps money, even in the secular marketplace. ‘Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold’ (Proverbs 22:1 NLT). Poor decision making can earn us a reputation that’ll haunt our prospects indefinitely. ‘A person who plans (chooses) evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker’ (Proverbs 24:8 NLT). When you get a negative reputation, it’s hard to recover from it (Proverbs 25:10 NLT). The short-term benefits of making poor decisions lead to long-term losses and regrets. The person God blesses must ‘…exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation…’ (1Timothy 3:2 NLT).
THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (2)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)
Somebody said, ‘Yard by yard life is hard, inch by inch life’s a cinch!’ For their life to go right, your children must learn to think right. So teach them to ask: 1) ‘What are my options in this situation?’ But do it with the right attitude. If your face is like thunder when you talk to them, they’ll run for cover. Brainstorm with them, writing down every option that’s offered. Tell them that no answers are wrong and no idea will be judged as silly; all suggestions are accepted and valued. You’re priming their creative pump, encouraging them to think for themselves. 2) ‘What benefits come from each option?’ The goal is not to coerce them, but for them to discover and embrace the truth for themselves. And that comes through patience, not pressure. Ask them to list which benefits seem most important to them. 3) ‘What negative consequences come from each option?’ Children can be brutally honest. That’s okay; it’s just part of learning God’s cause-and-effect law of sowing and reaping. Indeed, many adult regrets could have been avoided by following this law. Don’t preach or rant about how terrible the consequences are. Teach them to question themselves, ‘Am I willing to accept the consequences? How would they change my life?’ 4) ‘What personal values are involved in this decision?’ Values-based decisions call us to the high road rather than the path of least resistance. Suggest some godly values as primers, such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, responsibility, compassion, friendship, self-denial, courage, honour, faith, etc. Break it down small for younger children, but don’t miss your opportunity.
THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD (1)by Bob Gas (Word for Today)
‘…Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…’ Joshua 24:15
Good decision making is the key to a happy life. But good decision making is not a skill some of us are naturally blessed with, while poor decision making is a handicap others are born with. Courage, education, or the ageing process doesn’t automatically produce better decision makers. Spending time with good decision makers is wise, but it doesn’t rub off on you. And the earlier you teach this skill to your children, the better (Proverbs 22:6). So teach your children the following principles: 1) The consequences you get are the result of the choices you make. Let your children know it’s not their circumstances, but decisions they make about them, that govern their lives. You may think your children know this, but they don’t. Their ‘wiring problem’ makes ’cause and effect’ difficult to connect until their brain reaches later adolescence. Asking, ‘What were you thinking about?’ will just invite the famous shoulder shrug and blank stare. They’re not stupid-they just need guidance. 2) You will always have options. Children commonly feel powerless and hopeless when reacting to negative circumstances. They tend to be ‘either/or’ thinkers, concluding that things are either all good or all bad. Teach them ‘both/and’ thinking, because things can be bad yet you can choose to make good decisions about them. ‘Either/or’ thinking frequently produces children who become pessimistic, disempowered, easily manipulated, depressed adults. Knowing they always have good options prevents circumstances from dictating their lives.