Thursday, February 21, 2013

I've Got to Finish the Race!

Acts 20:24
I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the Gospel of God’s Grace.

Today, begins the spiritual trek towards Easter known as Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar. Occurring 46 days before Easter, it is a moveable fast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.

According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke; Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan.[2][3] Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting.

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a reminder and celebration of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday.[4]

During these 46 days we get back into “Spiritual Shape” to finish the race. The race is a metaphor for our Christian pilgrimage that begins when we accept Jesus to the day that we die. The race is not given to the swift or to the strong but to those who endure to the end.

The apostle Paul gives us a prescription for what our 40 days of consecration should look like in order to finish the race:
  1. Take a sober look at your life. This is a time of introspection. What God has done for us outweighs the value of our own selfish agenda for our lives. We owe God everything. Jesus died that we might live for God.
  2. We must have a renewed determination to finish the race. We got off to a good start but somebody or something cut in on us. It’s time to get back on track. If you fell off from regularly attendance in worship, from reading your bible, from giving, from serving it’s time to get back to where you were. Finish what you started.
  3. We must testify to the Gospel of God’s Grace. Other people need to hear what God has done in your life. This coming Friday we are starting a movement called, “Follow Me.” I want to challenge you to get your friends to start following you as you follow Jesus. This Friday ask your friends to Follow @NDCCMemphis on Twitter so that they can learn how to Follow @Jesus for the next 40 days.
Dear God,

I’m ready to get back in the race. I want other people to know just how good you’ve been to me and how good you can be to them. Use me to get my friends to Follow Jesus as I do my best to follow him myself. I’m ready to finish the race.

In Jesus Name,


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