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If you’re into any type of endurance sport, chances are that you spend at least a few hours a week in training, honing your skills, focusing on the fundamentals, pushing your limits, all with the hope of boosting your performance and achieving a good finish in your next event. So… wouldn’t it be worth just a few minutes of your time to learn the secret of finishing well in the ultimate endurance sport?

So are you ready for the RACE? LIFE is the ultimate endurance sport. Sometimes we might feel like we have it all togehter, and at other times feel like the world is falling apart. Whichever the case, we are all in the same race together, and whether or not we realize it, we were all designed for a common purpose.

This race called life is actually God’s race.  He designed it, just like He designed us.  When everything is stripped away, our true identity isn’t really about our athletic accomplishments at all. God, the all-powerful, all-knowing, and ultimately good Creator of the universe made us specifically for a dynamic relationship with Himself.  We were made to know God. We have the opportunity, as well as the need (yep, that’s right, need) to know God in a real one-on-one relationship!  How is this possible!?!  Why do we need Him?!? Well, on to the RACE!

Rules? Really? Well, think about it…we accept rules everywhere – on the race course, at work, at school, in nature – so it really shouldn’t surprise us that there are spiritual rules as well.  Because He made us, and is the ultimate authority on what is right and good, God sets these rules as well.  To summarize the road rules, Jesus put it this way – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  These rules are also for our benefit! We all realize that the highway law which requires us to drive on the proper side of the road is not just in place to limit our freedom, it keeps us alive! Likewise God’s laws are for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. God calls us to obey them, and anything short of that is really like cheating.

There is a prescribed course, God’s way, but we’ve all chosen to pick our own path. We’ve attempted to alter the race course, essentially saying that our way is better than God’s way.  Since none of us are capable of loving God or others PERFECTLY, we are all guilty (remember the Road Rules above?). According to the Bible, God’s word, if we have broken just one rule it’s like we have broken them all. The Bible (think of it as the ultimate training manual) puts it simply – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  In other words, we’ve all in some way said to God, “my way is best, I know better than you do.” The penalty for cheating is disqualification. We miss out on knowing God here on earth – unable to know Him or obey Him, and we forfeit Heaven as well.  In essence, we choose a life without God on earth and an eternity separated from Him (the sad reality of Hell). Hang in there!  Our God is a loving and patient God, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Good news and real hope is on the way! 

We all need to get back on course, to go God’s way! We all start out in the same shoes, in need of forgiveness and restoration, and God has made a way for us to not only have life, but to have it abundantly!  He wants the best for us! God loved the people of this world so much that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die. That’s why Jesus came to die on the cross in our place.  The Bible tells us that the penalty for sin (our cheating) is death, but God’s gift to us is eternal life through Jesus. He took our place on the cross so we could live. He then rose from the grave demonstrating He had won the ultimate victory over death, and he offers us life and freedom today. Jesus tells us that He is the one and only way to God the Father, and the key to real life.

So what do we do with these truths? The choices, just like on a race course, are pretty simple and straight forward.  We’ve all been there, at some point you have to pick a path. The difference is, this is not a race nor a game, it is a matter of life, death, and eternity. God is calling you. You can respond to that call by trusting in Jesus, believing He is exactly who He says He is, the perfect Son of God and the only one who can save us and reconcile us with God the Father, or you can say “no” to God’s call and reject Jesus. So what does it really mean to trust Jesus?  That means saying that He is the boss, and that we are ready to live life His way in all respects. We have to make a U-turn from our altered course – we turn from doing things our way and turn to Jesus as our new life leader, acknowledging Him from now on as both Lord and our Savior.  If you are ready to take that step, and don’t really know what to say to Jesus, you might say something like this… Just remember, mere words don’t save anyone. We aren’t saved by any good works we might do, membership to a church, or any other organization. We are saved by faith in Him. Jesus isn’t looking for special words or prescribed prayers, He’s waiting for you to enter into a real and vital relationship with Him. (MORE ABOUT ENTERING A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS)

Would you like to learn more?  If you have resolved to study more here, we encourage you to read the expanded version of this message. ( LEARN MORE!)  If you have never really read or heard anything about Jesus, and want to know more about who He is, what He did and does, and how to have a relationship with Him, a great place to start is with the Bible in the book of John.  Have questions?  We would really love to hear from you! Hey, we’re serious! Please feel free to send us an email and we will do our best to answer them.  Our desire is for everyone to live the full and blessed life that God designed us for. Finish Well!

If you have made the decision to trust in Jesus, welcome to a new life! CONTINUE TO A CLEAN START!