Monday, October 22, 2018
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s word is Victory.
I have come to realize that far too much of our time is spent in trying to gain victories over the issues of the world and far too little time is spent living in the victory of eternity. We exhaust ourselves seeking to enhance and extend this life, when all effort to do so is futile. All we gain from this world will be lost. Jesus said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” There is no ultimate victory that can be gained from the world. Jesus declared this truth to us when He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
Victory comes at the end of life to those who have lived by faith, not to those who have gathered the most goods. The Apostle John reminds us of this when he says, “everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Our faith is in the God who was victorious over death through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We have a hope that is sure.
Unfortunately, many of us run the race of life with the wrong focus. For most of us the track on which we run is filled with hurdles. Each hurdle has a name. There’s one called financial security. There’s one named success. Others are labeled as family, friends, and acceptance. Each of our races has different hurdles in a different order. But all our races have one final hurdle named death.
Most of us run our races with our focus on each hurdle. Many of us take a break from running after each hurdle is successfully jumped. We leave the track and spend time soaking up whatever glory we can get from bystanders, as if we have accomplished some great victory. Some never get back on the track and melt into the crowd of those who have lost sight of the finish line. While they think they are living, they never really do.
Some run the race with faith. Every hurdle is crossed with determination to make it to the next one, and the next one, until finally, with eyes fixed firmly on Jesus at the finish line, the last hurdle of death is navigated, and they cross into eternal victory.
Dear Lord and Savior, let me run the race with my eyes fixed firmly on you, and not the hurdles. Let me pass each hurdle with a determination to run faithfully to the end. I determine to not be distracted by the temporary joys of hurdle-jumping, but to remain focused on the joy that is set before me at the end of the race, when there are no more hurdles to jump and I will rest in your arms. May I not be tempted to place value on the things I accomplish for myself while running the race, but to rather consider all things a loss compared to the excellency of knowing and serving You. May my life be filled with thanks – not for things, but for the victory I have in You. May I live every day in full confidence of the hope of glory, and that one day You will reward me for having run my race faithfully as Your servant. I pray this in Your Name, Jesus. AMEN!