Bible Studies for Life Lesson for Oct- 31- Making Sense of Faith
October 19 2010 by Catherine Painter, Raleigh speaker, author

Focal Passages: Romans 4:1-3, 23-25; 10:9-13; Hebrews 12:1-2

When my husband Jack and I retired, we enjoyed lazy afternoons, books, and time to travel. Before long, however, we grew restless.

We decided that retirement meant being tired twice — first, tired of running the race that Hebrews 12:1-3 describes as “set before us,” and second, tired of not running.     

So, we asked God to renew our call. Soon, Jack was back in ministry, and I ran alongside.    

Does God ordain our race before we are born, as Jeremiah 1:5 suggests, or does our free will play a part?” God answers yes to both.

First, we choose either to run or go our own way, bypassing God’s will. Christians run because we are saved — not in order to be saved, or salvation would be the result of works. Paul insisted, “For by grace are you saved through faith ... it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”           

Secondly, we choose how to run. Races are tailor-made. You’re not running my race, and I’m not running yours. In choosing how to run, Hebrews 12:1 suggests we “Lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us.”

Reviewing my life, I wonder how much unnecessary weight, like worry, I should have laid aside. Secondly, we’re to “lay aside the sin which does so easily beset us,” the area where Satan might trip us up.

Every race has a start, middle, and finish.

For most of us, childhood, the start, is easy because others look out for us. Should we make a false start, there’s time to get things right.

The ending is also exhilarating with the finish line in sight. The middle of life’s race is the toughest.

We feel pain, pressure, and the temptation to take our eye off the goal of winning others to Christ. We’re too far into the race to turn back, and the finish line is not yet in sight.

It’s here we learn to live by faith. We do most of our spiritual growing in the middle of the race.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but keep running.

The more obstacles you overcome, the more sense your faith will make. And Jesus waits at the finish line with your crown in His hand.  
10/19/2010 3:37:00 AM by Catherine Painter, Raleigh speaker, author | with 0 comments

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