In order to complete this race we need to follow the right course.  Don’t you always want to check out the course before an event?  For this race the Ultimate Race Director (God) has designed a special one way course that enables us to truly know him in this life as well as in the one to come.  Since he is uniquely qualified to design the course and set the rules, we must follow his plan.  All events have rules and life is no exception.  Someone once asked life’s Ultimate Endurance Racer, Jesus, which rules were the most important.  He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk 12:30 NIV)” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  There is no commandment greater than these. (Mk 12:31 NIV)”  What this really means that we must love God completely, always putting him first in everything.  It also means that I must always love others and treat them with the same care and consideration I would show myself.  Now, we all know someone we don’t particularly like, and we’ve all acted selfishly from time to time.  We have certainly all put our desires in front of God’s at some point in our lives.

What it all boils down to is that sadly, at some point, we’ve all broken the rules.  For this event called life, God’s standard is perfection.  What!?!?  That’s right, and according to the Bible, breaking one rule is as good as breaking all of them, “for whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. (Jas 2:10 NIV)”  Sure, one athlete might look pretty good in a side-by-side comparision with another, but we all fall short of God’s standard.

Compare an Olympic runner to a casual jogger.  That runner’s 4 minute mile looks pretty perfect compared to the jogger’s 13 minute mile.  Clearly the Olympian is  the faster of the two.  But what if the standard is not a 4 minute mile, but rather a 1 minute mile?  Impossible?  For us alone, yes.  God has set the standard by which all of our thoughts, actions, and attitudes must be measured.  So if we all fall short, what is the result of our failure to meet God’s perfect standard? CONTINUE