“Do you not know that all the runners in a race run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
“Thus, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Are you living to your full potential? Very few people really give it their all. They care more about doing more than most or good enough compared to others. Many people will work hard to be successful. Have money or fame. That will surely make life good. Then they will be happy. Do you realize that we only have 70-90 years to enjoy this life and many don’t make it that long. If you are going all out to get rich, working long hours. What things will you let slip by you. We don’t live on earth all that long, but what about eternity? Where do you plan to spend eternity? That’s a very long time, forever, compared to just 70+ years. After I had my stroke I realized that I came very close to dying and I had wasted a lot of time. I was 45 but I was not the person I really wanted to be. I did have a husband of 25+ years, three wonderful children and a loving family, but was I a good person? Did my life matter? I started reading the Bible every day. I knew of God and I knew there was good advice in the Bible, but was I following it? I wanted to know more. I loved reading. So I started reading every religious thing I could get my hands on. I went to Savors and bought second hand books for near nothing and came home with bags of books. Time was all I had since I couldn’t do much. After seven years I made a vow to get to know God as much as I could by reading my Bible and praying, going to church and being as good as I could be. That’s about the time I published my first book, it was about my stroke. My life began changing for the better. God gave me two more books and I was making a difference in my life. I had a lot of good friends and I had eight grandkids. Life was good. Then I started a Bible group in my care home and a blog encouraging others on good biblical living. God has brought me so far and I have seen his glory more than I would ever have imagined. It is him and knowing him that has made me a good person. I could never have done it on my own. I read other books that got me excited about eating healthier, exercising and physically going for the best. Lately I’ve been watching more podcasts and sermons to help me grow and I still read all I can. I live deliberately moment by moment to win that prize. In heaven I want to be somebody. I want God to say, “Well done.”
Are you giving it your best?
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.“ Acts 4:12 NIV
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus is there any sweeter name? Do you know how important that name is? When Jesus freely offered up his life to pay for the sins we could never pay for, he did an awesome thing. God is perfect and if we want to spend time with him then we have to be perfect. He knows that is impossible though. Someone had to pay for those sins. In the days of Moses many perfect animals had to die so that God’s people could be forgiven. Every day sacrifices were made. But God wanted to see the heart attitude of his people change. The only perfect man who ever lived was God’s own son. He had to be willing to watch his only son being arrested for sins he didn’t commit, being beaten beyond recognition, then to be hung on a cross with hardened criminals till all life drained from his body. Jesus did that for each of us so that we could have eternal life. It was the only way. Not many parents could do that. Not only did he die but he went into hell for us. Bearing all the sins that would ever be committed. After three days God broke the suffering and brought him back to life. Death had been defeated for all those who would believe. But not just believe there is a God. Even Satan believes in God but does not respect him or obey him. We must believe that Jesus loved us so much that he willingly died for us. So we wouldn’t have to. After three days he did raise to life and wants to take away all of our sins. We are justified. That means that God sees you as perfect just as his son. He sees your sins no more after you have asked to be forgiven. Along with salvation you get the Holy Spirit. He helps us every day to follow God’s commands and live like we should. Whenever we need help he is a prayer away. He will hear everything you ask believing in the name of Jesus. That name opens doors and breaks down walls for us. It is the most powerful name you will ever hear. God loves his son so much and now he sits on a throne at the right hand of God. All honor is due him for all that he did. But do you know that he keeps interceding for his followers? He knows that Satan still runs things on this earth and that we need help. But did you know that God is still in control of our lives? Satan can not kill us only God knows when we will breathe our last breath. When we do we are assured that we will be with him in paradise forever.
Do you know Jesus personally?
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV
In this life there is only one absolute. And that is that 100% of us will die. Nobody gets out alive. Well maybe a few did, but that was thousands of years ago, but we all die. Since sin came into the world our bodies are slowly decaying away. And though many will die of an accident or an act of violence we all need to be ready. Some people assume that because they are young that they have plenty of time. Well I thought that but an unexpected severe stroke stopped my busy life at forty-five. It almost took my life. Frankly I was far from ready to die but our days are numbered. God is the only one who knows the exact number of days we have. From the day we are conceived it is planned. Even how we will die. It should be comforting to know that nobody dies by mistake. If you are meant to die, you will die. Now someone may do something mistakenly that causes your death but God knew that and allowed that. Just as a poor baby can be murdered in the womb, God knew that it would die at that time. We all have a purpose even if someone is only some forty some months old like my grandson. When you die we will all, everyone, face judgement for the life we lived. Many do not want to think about that and others say we just go to sleep and never wake up, and that’s not true , and I’m glad I know in advance. I know because Christ has come into my heart and I have the peace and assurance to all who trust in him that he is coming again with salvation for all those who follow him. But that is a small group of people who are truly ready. Once you are dead it’s too late. You have made a decision whether you know it or not. And you might not like where you end up forever. Christ came to this earth already two thousand years ago. He came as a poor little baby into a struggling young family. He would only live thirty some years and he was rejected by many, he would be arrested for something he did not do, and would be sacrificed on a cross for you and me. He did not try to defend himself, but humbly died so we wouldn’t have to. He is returning again for his followers one day soon. What a triumphant day that will be.
Are you one of those followers?
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?….” John 21:15 NIV
“If you love me keep my commandments.”John 14:15 NIV
God is making a very important statement right know. Ever since time began God has been there. He is the one true constant. Another true constant is that man is an imperfect, continually learning and growing creation. Simply said, “we are constantly screwing up.” Still God loves us. Of all God has created, and it is all awesome, we are his most special creation. Created in his image, to be like him. We have so much amazing potential. God has designed everyone ever born on this earth and they were designed because he wanted someone to love and for them to love him. Someone he could be a father to. Someone who would have a relationship with him. Just like normal fathers he would love us unconditionally and want the very best for us. Even though we do things wrong, he will always love us. He wants to give us an abundant life. He tries to teach us what to do and not to do like good parents. Things to help us have a good life. It takes discipline to keep us from doing things that harm us. His question right now is for everyone who says they know him and are “Christians.” “Do you love me?” “Do you really love me?” If you do, then why don’t you keep my commandments? The majority of people live day to day seldom thinking about God. He has become like a spare tire that is seldom needed or used. I know because that was me 15 years ago. Then I had a severe stroke and almost died. Then it became real. Was I ready to die? What would I say standing before Jesus? Boy, do we owe God an apology. I know that most of our lives are less than they could be. We are missing out on so much blessings. I owe him so much. After coming to that conclusion I have been doing all I can for him. My life has improved exponentially and I am so blessed and happy. Best decision I’ve ever made. Now I have an abundant life and won’t go back.
Do you want an abundant life?
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17 NIV
Heaven for a Christian is your final reward. For a life lived for the Lord. We don’t have to fear death. We are going home to a wonderful family. A father who loves us more than we could ever imagine. Relatives and good friends you have lost in the past will be there waiting. Maybe you lost a child or had a miscarriage, they will be waiting there to meet you. People whose lives were changed because of you. I once heard of a doctor talking to his patient about death. The patient had reached the end of his life and wondered what was waiting for him on the other side of that final door. The doctor went to the door and opened it. A big shaggy dog came barreling in the door almost knocking the doctor over. “My dog was waiting outside.” He did not know what was going on inside but he new his master, whom he loved, was inside and he couldn’t wait to be reunited with him. Do you know what’s awaiting you when you pass through that door? There is still forever when you cease to exist in this life. You see it’s not knowing what’s on the other side, but knowing who is on the other side. I can’t wait to see my master. Can you? Who’s your master? If you don’t know Jesus, and he gladly longs to get to know you. He is the most awesome one you will ever get to know. You don’t need to worry. He loved you before you were ever born. He knows just how many hairs are on your head. He knows all about you and loves you. He is standing before you with his arms open wide. He says, “Come home.” He doesn’t expect anything from you but love. If you do not know him it’s easy to meet him. Then you will know who is waiting for you. He anxiously waits for you to want him to be your Lord and Savior. All he asks is that you believe in him and his son Jesus. Believe that he died just for you. And that he was raised to life again. The best gift you can ever receive is Jesus Christ. Receive that gift by asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. Asking him to forgive all of your sins. And to live a life devoted to loving him. If you believe that with all your heart. Now you are a child of this King. Get to know him now by just talking to him like you would to a good friend. He loves you so much and wants to get to know you today. Get a Bible and start to read about this awesome God who loves all of his children the same.
Are you ready to meet this God?