The Race

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Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain (I Corinthians 9:24).

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 (Hebrews 12:1).

The Race! It is set before us. All of us are in it. What is this race? It is the race of life. As we age, the race seems shorter, but in fact it has not been a sprint- it has been a marathon.

In this race, how we start is not nearly as important as how we finish. Our goal is eternal life. However, we must all admit we got off to a rough start because we did not start out living for our Lord. The Apostle Paul pointed this out in the following verses:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6: 9-11).

That is how we started out. When we surrendered our lives to Jesus all of that changed as we now run this race to pursue the promise He has given us. What is that promise? I John 2:25 gives us the answer: “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.”

So, now we run. We are not competing against others, but we are definitely “in it, to win it.” With this in mind, we toss aside every weight and every sin that impedes our progress.

So, now we run. As a good soldier does not entangle himself with the affairs of this life, we look beyond the cares of this life to the goal that we are seeking. We keep in mind Paul’s admonition to Timothy: “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (II Timothy 2:5). God’s Word is our source for knowledge of how God expects us to conduct ourselves during this race we call life.

So, now we run. It is not a fifty yard dash. It is a steady pace. Remember, it is a marathon- endurance is more important than speed. In Matthew 10:22 Jesus said, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

Let us hang in there. Let us keep on running. I will see you at the finish line!

Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.

Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children  — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter  — Breanna. 

Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.

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