You have to run to finish


Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist



1 Corinthians 9:24: “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize.”

This past week, Beth asked me to join her in running a 4-miler. She loves to do these and has run in a number of marathons and I have always gone with her to watch. I’m not much into running, but over the past several months, I have lost about 40 pounds, so I told her I would not only go with her, but I would also participate. We were assigned our starting place and once we began the race, we gave it everything we had.

Having never run in a race like this before, I was not prepared for a lot of things. First of all, there were about 15,000 other runners. Some of them were really good too. Others were not as good as we were because, when we finished the race, there were still a couple of thousand people who crossed the finish line after we did. So for my very first race, I think I did pretty well. (I finished and that was good.) We also received a medal for finishing the race and I have found a really good place to display it.

The Bible verse says that “the runners all race, but only one receives the prize.” In this case, everyone who finished the race received a medal for finishing. There were some who started the race and didn’t finish and they didn’t get a medal. There were some who finished before us, and some who finished after us, but everyone who finished received a medal.

Here’s what I was thinking about while I was running that race the other day: Every one of us in the race started, but not everyone finished. There was a medal for those who finished; some people received the medal and some people didn’t. In relating this to our lives here on earth, we could say that every one of us are in a race, too. Our race is called “the race of life.” It’s not for two miles or for four miles, or even for 5K or 10K. Our “race” is for a lifetime until God calls us home.

And so my question for you to think about this week is this: “How are you running your race?” See, there were runners who were faster than Beth and me and there were runners who were slower than us. But, everyone ran. In our life, the race is the life we live. And the reward is eternal life in Heaven with God, if we run the race according to His rules. He tells us, in order to be able to spend our eternity in Heaven, we must be “born again.” It means this. We have been born physically and we also need to be born spiritually. We can accept Jesus as our Savior and He will save us from our sins and give us our “reward” for running in the race of life and His reward is eternal life.

So, have you accepted Jesus into your heart and asked Him to save you from your sins? If so, your reward is eternal life. If not, you need to do that as soon as possible because no one has a guarantee on life. If you’d like to receive Jesus as your Savior, pray this prayer to Him: “Dear God, I know I am a sinner. And I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I ask Jesus to come into my heart and save me from my sins. I receive the free gift of eternal life and thank You for saving me. Now, help me to live my life for You. In Jesus name. Amen.”

If you just prayed that simple prayer, you will spend your eternity in Heaven. Welcome to the family of God. Now, find a good Bible believing, Bible teaching church and get involved with it. They will help you grow in your new faith and help you to become a mature Christian.

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

God bless you and we want to let you know the doors to our church are always open to you and to your family. We’d love to have you and your family come and worship with us. If you don’t have a home church, please check us out at 10:45 a.m. Dress casual.

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Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at m.thad.gifford@gmail.com, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.