“The advice I have for beginners is the same philosophy that I have for runners of all levels of experience and ability: consistency, a sane approach, moderation, and making your running an enjoyable, rather than dreaded, part of your life.”
If that quote came from your pastor during today’s sermon, you would probably expect a perfect 3 point message outline about what it means to be a Christian. But that is not a quote from a pastor; that is advice from , 4-time Boston Marathon winner.
2023’s Running Right theme started with what it means to “run the race,” and then we took a good look at what hinders runners. Last month we even examined a time when God ran. However, as important as what the race is and how to run it are for Christians, April was all about digging deep to cement WHY we run.
“And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may RUN that readeth it.” Habakkuk 2:2
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
We run the Christian race to reach lost souls.
Should we grow closer in fellowship with God and fellow Christians? Yes. But that is not the purpose for which we are left here on Earth.
What is the purpose of life?
To reach the lost world with the gospel of Christ. What will be the purpose of our existence throughout eternity? It is the same reason we were created, to worship God and to know Him face to face. Ever since Jesus came and died on the cross for mankind, our goal as believers has been to share the chain-breaking truth of the gospel.
Jesus commanded His followers to go into all the world with the gospel. So we run. We run the Christian race to reach a lost and dying world before it is too late. Habakkuk 2:2 is BC Missions’ vision verse. When international travel became difficult due to Covid, we shifted our eyes to new ways to “run” with a simple plan of salvation for those looking for truth. The Marvelous Message Video Tract Library was born. We geared our running to the creation of video tracts presenting a plain yet culturally relevant presentation of the gospel. We realized that to go into all the world, we needed to speak the truth in love so that all the world could hear.
Let me take you back to Rodgers’ quote. It doesn’t matter the level of experience and ability of the runner; the recipe for success is the same.
Be consistent in your running.
Learn to balance your life between temporal responsibilities and eternal dividends.
Make sharing the gospel fun. Find a way or a place that excites you to share the gospel. Make it an event that you are searching for an opportunity, not an obligation or something in which you feel duty-bound to participate.
Your endurance in the Christian race will be proportional to the depth of your understanding for WHY we run. History and nature show that when an individual shows an independent strength, it is because their How is constantly being fed with the fire of their Why.
For example, patients fighting cancer. How can they take the treatment over and over? Simple, their why is so strong their faith can’t be stopped. Maybe their why is a baby at home, a spouse who needs them to provide, or a team that is depending on their God-given gifts to reach the lost.
Give a soldier a strong enough WHY and they can survive even the most horrible and brutal of conditions. Anyone who has ever tried to work with 11-15-year-olds knows that until the child is sold on the why they are unlikely to complete any task given to them.
The standards are higher for Christians. We are called to be sanctified, the light and salt in a world full of sin. It takes a great deal of work to be in the world but not of the world. Running is hard at times. Not only are you going to have to fight the terrain, but run long enough, and your own body will start to fight you. Christian friends lock on to your why when life and running the Christian race becomes painful.
“looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…”
How did Jesus endure running the Christian race, even when it took Him to the cross?
He remembered why He came.
Remember why Jesus left you on Earth, friend. Focus on reaching the lost with the gospel. There is a vast world still waiting for the gospel.
Run like your joy depended on it. Run, knowing others’ eternity depends on it. Run with the Gospel.