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Date: 21 August, 2019
Text: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Title: Don't Stop Your Run
Most of you know - that I run. (I would say - enjoy running - but I run more for the discipline than the enjoyment - although at times I enjoy running.)
I think I'm a runner until I read about what other's have achieved in their runnning.
ill. Sharon Gayter - 55 year old ultra-runner - fastest woman to travel by foot between John O'Groats and Land's End. (She said she felt 'about 105' after covering 822 miles in 12 days, 11 hours, 6 mnutes, and 7 seconds.)
exp. That seems extreme until you hear about a race in NYC that circles one block.
ill. Self-transcendence 3100 mile race - 5,649 laps around this block.
exp. Runners in this race, sleep very little, eat constantly,
The world record is held by Ashprihanal Aalto who finished with a time of 40 days 09:06:21
exp. The runners in these races - get up the next day and run - they get up the next day and run...etc.
note: That kind of a race is really a good picture of what God has called us to do as believers - WE HAVE TO RUN AND GET UP THE NEXT DAY AND RUN.
Heb 12:1 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,
Don't stop your run! HAVE YOU PULLED OUT OF THE RACE?
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
exp. Paul didn't quit. He made his body keep running.
DON'T STOP YOUR RUN!
EXP. IF WE ARE GOING TO KEEP RUNNING - WE MUST RUN WHEN THINGS MAKE US WANT TO QUIT.
I. DON'T STOP YOUR RUN - When you think you are behind.
Ill. This message was born in my heart Wednesday morning as I left on my run. I got a tenth of a mile from my home and saw the Recycling Lory coming and realized I had forgotten to put out my blue bin.
exp. I wanted to quit my run because I felt like I was behind where I would have been if I hadn't gone back to put out the bin.
question: I wonder how many believers aren't running the race because they feel behind. Satan whispers in their ear....
1.) You back slider. You'll never catch up to where you were.
ill. Israel was backslidden at times.
Hos 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
Hos 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.
exp. But God put them back in a place of victory.
Hos 14:4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
2.) You got a late start. You'll never catch up.
ill. R. G. LeTourneau
- dropped out of school aged 14,
- had an unsaved business partner ruin their business by putting them into debt by hid drinking - 1915 - left that business with a 5,000 USD debt
- Was 40 before his life really got going.
- invented earth moving machinery. In WWII - 70% of earth moving machinery used were his machinge.
- Started a Bible College - LeTourneau university
- gave 90% of his income to the Lord and lived on 10%
exp. He could have quit because he was so far behind. But, he kept running his race.
app. Have you quit running because the devil has convinced you that you are behind? PUT YOUR PAST BEHIND YOU AND RUN FOR THE FUTURE.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
EXP. DON'T STOP YOUR RUN WHEN YOU FEEL BEHIND.
II. Don't stop your run - When you don't feel like running.
exp. Anyone who runs will tell you that there are times when they don't feel like running. It's too cold, wet, hot, icy.... Or you have aches and pains....your heart is just not in it - you'd like to sleep a bit more..... BUT IF YOU ARE TO MAINTAIN YOUR FITNESS YOU HAVE TO RUN.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
2Th 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
ill. In our family devotions on Thursday we read 4 verses from Isaiah 40.
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
exp. Don't you know - the eternal God, Jehovah - the Creator of everything - does not QUIT - or get tired - He understands everything.
ill. When you read the book of Job you read about a man who is all in and ready to throw in the towel. But, when you get to God's confrontation of Job there is a fresh energy as the Almighty begins to speak.
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
exp. You and I can be all in and weary and wanting to faint - BUT GOD IS ABOVE THAT.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
ill. Cut my hedge this week with our chordless hedge trimmer - the battery had already been used - I got half way through the hedge and it fainted. I took it and I plugged it into mains power - that battery was at 75 percent in 15 minutes.
app. God is mains power - he recharges batteries IF WE PLUG INTO HIM WHEN WE DON'T FEEL LIKE WORKING.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
exp. A young man tends to trust in his strength. How often do older people say of youth, "I wish I had half their energy." BUT - our strength fails NO MATTER HOW YOUNG WE FEEL.
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
app. Have you lost your desire to run. DON'T STOP YOUR RUN. Determine that you do not have the strength but that you will go in the strength of God. 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength
III. Don't stop your run - When someone else seems to be going along in newer easier way.
ill. As I'm thinking about this - two bikes went passed on the other side of the road - young lady in front - being passed uphill by an older lady who was stouter than the younger woman - she had an electric bike and was hardly peddling while the younger woman was exercising vigorously.
exp. The younger woman could think - I'll just get an electric bike as well - but if she did she would not stay as fit or healthy as she was. If she sticks with traditional cycling she will be healthier now and in the future.
note: This is just an illustration and I am not suggesting that electric bikes are bad.
question: Did you know that the devil is quick to hand believers new and easier ways.
1.) Stop your run - you don't really need to be that much different from the world. This church accepts it.....It would be easier.....
2.) Stop your run - That music isn't really that bad. This church accepts it.....It would be easier....
3.) That church is more about 'love and acceptance'. It would be easier....
4.) Praying and depending upon God's Spirit - is old fashioned.... programs and new methodology are easier.....
Jer 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
app. DON'T STOP RUNNING - when someone else seems to be going along in a newer easier way!
IV. Don't stop your run - When it is an easy day to run.
ill. I have run in some bad weather and conditions - ice in my hair and beard - soaked to the skin by rain - blown away by wind -
ill. Isle of Skye - my first two miles were uphill
exp. When it is tough - you expect adversity and you are ready for it. But, Wednesday was a lovely day and I was suprised by how much I was struggling to keep going.
ill. Israel faced a lof of battles as they took the promised land.
Deuteronomy 7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
note: They were warned in the previous chapter - Deuteronomy 6:10 And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
11 And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
12 Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
exp. It is easy to fail in times of ease.
ill. Mighty King David failed in an easy day.
2Sa 11:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
exp. David took it easy instead of staying in the battle and in the time of ease he failed.
app. Did you do more for the Lord when you were busier, more burdened, more aware of your need for God's help? Have you stopped your run in the day of ease?
V. Don't stop your run - When obstacles are in your way.
ill. (Wheelie bins/ cyclist/ traffic, dog's and their leads)
note: I don't like to stop my run no matter what obstacles are in my way.
- Picture me leaping over an overturned wheelie bin and then thinking, you are really getting too old to do things like that without injury.
- Earlier this year - I came up from the cycle path in Roslin to the main road to find the entrance blocked by a cyclist. He was up off of the seat, I said, "Sorry" put one hand on the seat, one on the wall and jumped over his back tire.
exp. You say - "Pastor why did you think to do that?" I didn't think - there wasn't time to think. I thought about it afterwards and may have a different plan next time.
note: MY MINDSET RUNNING IS THAT I'M NOT GOING TO STOP.
QUESTION: What obstacle does it take to stop your run?
- Ungodly friend inviting you away from church on the Lord's day?
- Ungodly pleasure making you turn from the path of Godliness?
- Health, financial, family pressure.....
exp. THERE WILL BE MANY OBSTACLES SATAN WILL THROW INTO YOUR PATH WHILE HE SEEKS TO STOP YOUR RUN.
ill. David - ran through a troop, leaped over a wall
Psa 18:29 For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
(Quoted in 2 Samuel 22:30)
app. Are you letting obstacles stop your run? Or are you determined that you will not stop?
VI. Don't stop your run - When you are weary because you did so much exercise the day before.
ill. I was thinking while I was runnning? Why am I so tired? What did I eat last night? Did I get enough sleep? Then I remembered that on Tuesday morning I had walked for 3 hours in Liberton (very hilly) putting out Gospel flyers.
exp. There are times where we are going to be tired because we exercised so hard the day before. But, we still have to run on that day.
1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
exp. Paul didn't say - well I died yesterday on my run so that makes me good for today as well. HE DIED DAILY!
Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
exp. HAVE YOU TAKEN UP YOUR CROSS TODAY? - laced on your spiritual trainers and started running
note: We already considered Paul's words, "Forgetting those things which are behind" with regard to failures. We have to forget those things which are behind of victory (faithful running) as well.
app. DID YOU RUN WELL YESTERDAY - GREAT! - BUT YOU STILL NEED TO RUN TODAY - EVEN IF YOU ARE MORE TIRED FROM YESTERDAYS RUN.
VII. Don't stop your run - When other's are watching you run while they are sitting down.
ill. late in the latter half of my run - I came up to a bus leeting off passengers - bus going along side of me for a few hundred meters - they are sitting down and I'm sweating, breathing hard from exerting energy)
exp. Sometimes you want to quit when you are running and others are just watching.
quote: Football - "22 people badly in need of rest being watched by thousands of people badly in need of exercise."
exp. Christianity should not be a spectator sport and yet one at times would wonder - WHO ELSE IS DOING WHAT GOD INTENDS THEM TO DO AND RUNNING THE RACE?
note: But it doesn't matter what they are doing - WHAT MATTERS IS ARE YOU RUNNING THE RACE?
ill. Peter - feed my sheep - "What about John?" Joh 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Joh 21:23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
exp. Jesus didn't answer Peter's question because it didn't matter for Peter. What mattered was Peter running his race.
app. If you are only going to run if everyone else runs - you are not going to run! There will often be people sitting who should be running. Don't stop your run!
VIII. Don't stop your run - When you can see the finish line and think you can quit.
ill. As I turned the corner in my final stretch, I thought, you know I could quit. I've run farther today because I started my run and had to go back and run again. I was close to the end anyway. Did it really matter if I quit?
exp. Satan would like us to think that we have done enough and that we are close enough to the finish line to stop our run.
ill. Christian Retirement communities in Florida - fine - if they are still working. (No cresche' for a young family at a church of a couple hundred people.)
ill. Paul in the mammertime pit prison in Rome - still writing by candle light to Timothy from Prison - the last epistle which he penned for God's infallible word -
2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
exp. Paul died running the race.
app. Have you quit thinking you have made it far enough? Don't quit - when yo can see the finish line.
IX. DON'T STOP YOUR RUN - When you are passing people still going the other way.
exp. As I came into that final stretch I ran past 4 different people. All the people I've witnessed to and invited to church walking by - going the opposite way of me physically and spiritually.
ill. Camp in Germany - Pastor Paul Fosmark - illustrated the christian life by lining up people in the aisle facing the pulpit while he walked against them.
note: Sometimes we can wonder - what's the point - I'm tired of going the opposite direction of family, friends, neighbour, culture....
1.) They believe in atheism, evolution, and the god of humanism.
2.) They love their alcohol and can't understand being teetotal
3.) They don't care about saving the life of babies in the womb.
4.) They don't believe in marriage as God intended and call evil good and good evil.
5.) They reject Jesus and His infallible Word.
exp. The world will always be joined hand and hand against God - BUT YOU ARE RUNNING THE RIGHT WAY.
Proverbs 11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
app. Don't stop your run - though everyone else is going the other way.
X. Don't stop your run - When you are thinking about all the reasons why you should quit.
ill. You may have been thinking during the message - Pastor - I know why you're run was so tough - you were meditating the whole way on reasons why you wanted to quit.
exp. Satan is good at giving you his list of reasons why you ought to just hang up your running shoes. We can focus on his list - and struggle - or we can just keep our eyes on Jesus and press on.
Heb 12:2 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.
question: Have you ever thought about reasons why Jesus could have quit.
1.) The disciples were failures.
2.) Nobody realized the value of what He was doing. NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT HAS EVER BEEN DONE THAN THE CRUCIFICTION OF JESUS.
3.) Those he loved hated Him.
4.) Those he had created rebelled against Him.
5.) He was chosing to suffer for someone else's crime.
6.) He could have destroyed the world instead of saving the world.
exp. If anyone had GOOD REASONS to quit running it was Jesus - BUT FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM HE WENT TO THE CROSS.
app. If you have a list of reasons, take them to the Lord and leave them with him and get back runnning for God. RUN for Jesus - keep your eyes on him.
DON'T STOP YOUR RUN - Do you know where your spiritual running kit is? Have you set aside your spiritual trainers?
What are you going to do about it?
- Maybe you can't run today - You aren't entered in the race.
- Maybe you can't run today because you stopped your run and were disqualified and need to be reinstated by Jesus into the race.