By Brother Steve | August 19, 2012
Philippians 3:14 - I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I have recently taken up exercising and watching my eating habits. I work at a job that requires very little getting up and being active. I sit at a computer all day long. Because of this, I noticed myself gaining extra pounds and just not feeling that great.
I finished a 16-week program that involved mostly walking, then some running (of my own discretion). I finished the program with achieving four miles, four to five days a week. The last two weeks, I walked two and ran two - or more.
When I started the two miles of running, I asked myself why I put myself through such punishment! I felt like I could not finish the two mile run.
Now let me pause here and say this ... about 14 years ago, I had no problems staying active. Running that distance was really nothing at all.
So it is quite a shock to the body to get into the exercise thing again. On the last stretch of the 2-mile run, I had to keep telling myself I would finish and I was not going to slow down or quit. My body was telling me otherwise.
I kept thinking while trying to finish, that I would be doing this same thing the next day and the next. My thought process kept leading me into a desire to give it up and try something else.
So what kept me going and completing the program? Simply the results I had witnessed. Through the program I lost 20 pounds. Also, I wanted to see for myself how much I could endure. I like to be challenged.
I thought about when Paul the apostle wrote that he had finished his course, he had kept the faith. He ran the Christian race through times of quitting. Many trials and extreme hardships stood in his way. The average Christian would have caved in to the pressure and misery he faced. I'm sure his thought processes were teased with giving in at times. What kept him going? What made him finish with his head high? His reward when the race was finished, the crown that he would receive from Christ himself.
Why did Jesus go through the anguish of crucifixion? Why did He suffer and become a bloody sacrifice for a world who did not love Him? Because of the joy set before Him. He did it for His bride to be - the church, the saved. He wanted to complete His Father's will. He went to great lengths to finish the job. He did it for you. Your salvation is His reward.
Let me encourage you to stay in the race. Don't give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep pushing forward!
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