The Journey Thoughts

August 20, 2016

There seems to be some stringent rules in this Olympics, such as one in
which a runner stepped out of bounds when pressed in from another, running
in a distance run.  He was one of the Americans, and came in 5th in the
qualifying run. But later he was disqualified from the race because he
stepped out of bounds.  Another runner, while in the chocks, prematurely
started and was immediately disqualified from the race.  All his training,
his discipline and hours spent getting to the Olympics were gone in one
false start.  Rules are for a reason, and even in our faith, rules come with
the package.  Sure we either accept who Jesus is, and believe in Him and are
saved, or we don't.  We can't say we believe in Him, but then not listen to
His words for our life.  Scripture tells us: "Share in suffering as a good
soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the
concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter. Also, if anyone
competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to
the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of
the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in
everything. Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and
descended from David. This is according to my gospel." 2 Timothy 2:3-8  We
are all in a race for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  We all have
a role in the faith we have been given in Christ, to live like He lived.  We
have been called from an old way of life in which we lived for self, but now
we are to live for Christ, and that means living for all others.  The
"RULES" are simple: love one another as He has loved us!  To produce fruit,
such as: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness,
self-control."  The production of good fruit is not from the labor of
working at being this way, but surrendering to Jesus, so that His Spirit can
condition our lives to be fruit producers.  Just like the athlete who
trains, we train by surrender, not to the world, but to the conditioning of
Christ.  We train by enduring this surrender, even in the face of
persecution, when everything within us wants to strike out, or run away.  We
continue in the race, for this race is a race of life, and everyone on the
face of the earth is on it.  The only problem is that most are just
following each other.  We are called to follow Christ. His race for the goal
will involve us running in some out of the way footpaths, which at times may
very well seem to be off road.   The temptation will be to get back on the
track, for it is well marked and there are many who are running on it.  Why
not just follow them?  Jesus wants us to follow Him, and therefore He will
lead us at times where we don't want to go, and through situations we don't
want to experience, yet all that He leads us through will be beneficial for
our training, so that we, by staying on course with Him, will lead us to the
place He has selected, not on the endless track which ultimately leads to
destruction.  So how are you training today?  Are you still running with the
world? Are you more comfortable on the main road, for it is well beaten down
and seems to be a much smoother way.  When I was in Vietnam, and on patrol,
we had to stay away from the paths, even though they were so much easier to
travel on, because they were also were the traps were set, where danger
awaited those who traveled them.  We are to take the road less traveled, and
lead by Christ, so that we can learn obedience, and that we can be brought
to the place of reward for being a follower of Christ, instead of the world.
When you leave the house today, you have a choice, to either follow the path
Christ sets out for you, or follow the one the world has paved for you.  Be
careful which one you choose, for one will lead you the right way, and one
will lead you the wrong way.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, Help us to run the race the right way, by listening to Your
Spirit, and leaning on Your instructions, not those of the world.  I pray
for strength to stand firm in the face of trials, especially for those I
pray for this morning. Please keep them strong, and Lord, please heal, and
comfort and strengthen them for the road ahead.  I pray then for: Tuly, Don,
Tyson, Wendy, Montella, Joyce, Dwight, Sammi, Betty, David, Phyllis, Devon,
the Thibodeau family, Cindy, Terry, Barbara, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill,
Carolyn, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Agnes, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura,
Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Bj, Ida, Isabel, Angie, Terry, Kristena, Shane,
Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan, Lydia, Fisher,
Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn,
Ben and family, Tim's mother, Shelly's mother, Julissa and her friend,
Jana's mother, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Richard and his father,
Robbie, Laurie, Gary, Heather, Codi, Ron, Sam, Ada, Deane, Bill, Dan, Rheba,
Pam, Mike,, Austin, Harriet, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike S., James,
Scott, April, Craig, Ben, Ramona, Betty, Danny, Hunter, Asher, Lynette,
Kristen, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux,
Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa. I pray for our military and
police and those who are being persecuted for doing good.  Lord we need You,
so please listen to my prayer this morning and bring Your refreshing rain to
fall on us today, for I ask it in Jesus name. Amen

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