Devotions By Jan

Marathon

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IMG_20140519_171222Scripture for Today:  Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Our son loves to run.  In high school he was very good at cross country running.  The rugged terrain around our home was just right for training.  Later, he ran a few marathons and also did well.  The training for a full marathon (26.2 miles) is no little thing!  It is advised to begin training a full six months ahead of time, running at least three times a week.  So much of doing well is the result of mental toughness.  It is said that the last three and half miles of a marathon are the most difficult.

Our verse for today reveals Paul’s heart.  The image of a race for the Christian life must be a marathon.  Paul is approaching his last three and a half miles.  He is on his way to Jerusalem where he knows through the Spirit’s revelation that hardship and prison await him there.  He is compelled to go on, even when it means having to say his final goodbyes to the elders from the church in Ephesus.  Paul had only one aim in life, to communicate the wonderful grace of Christ that he had found.  It was a God-given task and he was determined to finish, no matter what.

That kind of mental toughness is incredible.  He finished his race well, staying faithful to the Lord and continuing his witness, even in prison.  His death as a martyr has earned Paul a special crown at the end of his marathon.

Can I be that tough?  Keep me determined Lord, so I can finish well.

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