Running With Jesus or Running For Nothing?

Hebrews 12:1-3 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, {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. {3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

When I was growing up I had a favorite Aunt that was – for lack of a better description – a “Health Food Enthusiast”. She was a great woman and she was a Christian. My dad has her Bible, and a note in it in her handwriting that she was saved on a certain date. But Aunt Dot wasn’t defined so much by her faith as she was by being a “Health Food Enthusiast”. When I went to her house to eat one time she had something sprinkled on top of the green beans. I asked “Aunt Dot, what is that?” and she said “Wheat Germ”. Wheat Germ? What is that? “It’s the husk that comes off the grain of wheat before you can use the grain”. Oh, wheat germ is like the shell on a pecan or a peanut. It has no calories, no taste – but I’m told it’s good for you. Aunt Dot learned about wheat germ while reading Prevention magazine, the Health Food Enthusiast’s Bible. Every year for my birthday Aunt Dot gave me a subscription to Prevention magazine.

On June 8, 1971 the founder and publisher of Prevention magazine Jerome Rodale was being interviewed on the Dick Cavett Television Show. Rodale stated “I’ve never felt better in my life. I’ve decided to live to be a hundred years old!” When the next guest came in, Rodale moved to the end of the couch so that person could be interviewed. Rodale’s head leaned forward like he was asleep. A good host, Cavett ignored the “sleeping man” and kept on track with his interview. It was discovered during a commercial break, however, that Rodale had passed away from what would later be determined to be a heart attack. The professed healthiest man on the planet went to meet his maker.

In 1977 a man named Jim Fixx wrote the bestselling book The Complete Book of Running and, with it, started a fitness revolution. He popularized the sport of running. When Fixx was interviewed on television he promoted how running had changed his life, and how he believed that physical exercise would increase everyone’s life expectancy. On July 20, 1984 Fixx died from a heart attack brought on by hardening of the arteries. He went to meet his maker at 52 years of age.

Now I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t eat healthy and that we shouldn’t exercise. These things are very important. If you eat poorly your health will be poor. If you never exercise or work at all you get sluggish and lazy. Exercise is important – but exercise should not define you. Healthy eating is important, but healthy eating should not define you. The Bible says:

1 Timothy 4:7-8  But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. (8) For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

It’s good to exercise – but most important to exercise your faith. If you are alive you are in a race toward a goal. Each day you get closer toward that goal. What is it? Some people run their race for money, scraps of paper that will not go with you past this life. Others run for power, preeminence, prestige. Once they have it, what then?

Once Alexander the Great conquered the world it is said that he wept, for he had no other worlds to conquer. The beauty queen, Miss America, will in 40 years be a wrinkled old lady, her crown gathering dust. The Superbowl Champion will one day be fat and slow or thin and wobbly, a few ounces of gold on his hand to remind him of the glory days. The Medal of Honor winner or Bronze Star hero will one day be abandoned. The ticker tape parade is past – no one remembers. The proud Marine or Air Force medal winner now has a folded flag on a wall, forgotten commendations gathering dust from a time long forgotten.

Is that what you’re running for? Is that what you’re struggling for? Why waste your life?

The life lived for God is never wasted. He never forgets your work and labor of love. The life that invests itself in lifting up others is remembered forever. One day your earthly life will end, and your body will be placed under a rock on some lonely plot of land. Will Christ receive your soul in eternity? Will those who look at your rock, your tombstone, remember you fondly, or spit when they read it?

Not too long ago a man I know passed into eternity. While he lived, he lived for himself. He treated his wife badly. He was selfish. When he came to Church, let’s just say he didn’t play well with others. It’s sad to say, when he died I was relieved I was no longer his Pastor. When I heard he died, I called his wife to console her. She was actually happy, freed from the bondage of years of living with a selfish man. Is he in Heaven or hell? I can’t and won’t say – that is up to God. But I do know this …

I don’t want anyone remembering my life that way. I won’t trust a salvation to carry me into Heaven that doesn’t at least motivate me to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you?

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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2 Responses to Running With Jesus or Running For Nothing?

  1. Homeland says:

    there s some good points here

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