Running To Win

Posted by Elaine August 20, 2023 at 12:00 AM AEST

When becoming a Christian we are saved by God’s grace. It’s not because of anything we’ve done to deserve His favour, it’s just because we accepted Jesus, but what then?

What does it mean to be a Christian? What is required of us?

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Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of sickness and disease…

Jesus sent them out with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure the lepers, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!

Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a godly man and stay in his home until you leave for the next town.

Any city or home that doesn’t welcome you—shake off the dust of that place from your feet as you leave. Truly, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off at Judgment Day than they.

“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be arrested and tried, and whipped in the synagogues. Yes, and you must stand trial before governors and kings for my sake. This will give you the opportunity to tell them about me, yes, to witness to the world.

“When you are arrested, don’t worry about what to say at your trial, for you will be given the right words at the right time. For it won’t be you doing the talking—it will be the Spirit of your heavenly Father speaking through you!

“Brother shall betray brother to death, and fathers shall betray their own children. And children shall rise against their parents and cause their deaths. Everyone shall hate you because you belong to me. But all of you who endure to the end shall be saved.

“When you are persecuted in one city, flee to the next! I[b] will return before you have reached them all! A student is not greater than his teacher. A servant is not above his master. 25 The student shares his teacher’s fate. The servant shares his master’s! And since I, the master of the household, have been called ‘Satan,’© how much more will you! 26 But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when the truth will be revealed: their secret plots will become public information.

27 “What I tell you now in the gloom, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ears, proclaim from the housetops!

28 “Don’t be afraid of those who can kill only your bodies—but can’t touch your souls! Fear only God who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Not one sparrow (What do they cost? Two for a penny?) can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t worry! You are more valuable to him than many sparrows.

32 “If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my Father in heaven. 33 But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword. 35 I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s worst enemies will be right in his own home! 37 If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

39 “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.

40 “Those who welcome you are welcoming me. And when they welcome me they are welcoming God who sent me. 41 If you welcome a prophet because he is a man of God, you will be given the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly men because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs.

42 “And if, as my representatives, you give even a cup of cold water to a little child, you will surely be rewarded.”
Matthew 10

Imagine His belief in us when God asks us to do something. He will ask something that we don’t believe we’re capable of. Our blind childlike trust is what’s required to take the first steps. As we walk in His light, we begin to see what He was doing when He asked for our obedience. It’s not until we’re on the journey that we see how significant our obedience is.

What we do about His request determines where we will spend eternity.

What does it mean to be spiritually alive, to dive into the depths of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10 MSG

Be the sperm that enters the egg…

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“Turbo-charged sperm speed through a dimly lit canal, coursing feverishly through vast landscapes and titanic cavities. A lone egg desperately awaits her suitor, pledging her life if left unavowed. Then, the swiftest sperm rises from the depths of darkness, breaking through a fortress wall and presenting himself to his prospective partner. A union is formed. The end.

This is the stuff of movies and drama. But it’s also the stuff of fertilisation. When sperm are released into the vaginal canal, an intricate performance ensues. With the ovaries serving as arc lights, the stage womb is set."
From What is fertilization

All contenders for the egg are sperm, however only one sperm reaches the prize. What makes the others lose their purpose?

Without the determination of the sperm, life will never begin.
We are spiritually alive when we’re fiery in enthusiasm of God. When we dive into the depths of God.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. Romans 12:11-14

Don’t wait until you feel spiritually adequate.
Saul turned and left Samuel. At that very moment God transformed him—made him a new person! – 1 Samuel 10:9

When spiritually alive we remain open, when we aren’t, the shutters go up and we become ineffective as a child of God.

Look away from yourself
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. 2 Corinthians 10:5-6

We are to be found in Him – Philippians 3:9

Our obedience is as a sweet aroma to Christ!

Philippians 2:8
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Good enough is not your destiny! Dont be satisfied with less than what God’s put in your heart.