"Let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
on whom our faith depends from start to finish."
Barrel racers are devoted to racing. All are racing to win something, somewhere, sometime. But there is another race we may not realize we are entered in—this is the race that God has set before us. We all are entered and running. God has rewards for the winners of His race; the reward we win is up to us.
A very well known marathon runner was coming to town to run for a prestigious race. The purse money was high and it would be great for her career to win this race. Because of circumstances she was late getting to the race. She lost her directions and came upon the start of the race by chance. Miss Superstar ran her heart out in the race, giving it all she had. She won and she received her reward but it wasn’t nearly what was advertised. When she asked what happened, she found out that the big race she had entered had run a few blocks away. The race she ran was just a local marathon. She gave it all she had for the wrong race!
During any barrel race, there are two races going on. One is the race for first place—the other is for the crown of righteousness that God has in store for us at the end of our life. It is very possible and greatly to be admired, when one competes with great excellence in both races at the same time. God’s race doesn’t stop when we walk out of the arena, it is continuous. Every moment we live, every action we take, every word we speak, every thought we think—counts.
The stop watch tells us how we are doing in rodeo, but here are a few Bible verses to help us keep track of how we are doing in God’s race.
Run hard, run long, don’t quit.
a term barrel racers are very familiar with.
We try our guts out in the heat,
in the wind, when we are tired,
when we are hungry, and no matter the whatever—we try.
Trying our guts out for God,
determined never to give up living for Jesus Christ, is great for God’s race.
Keep running and keep our eyes on what is important—Jesus.
Jesus has finished this race we are in.
Keeping our eyes on Him will keep our focus clear.
Jesus ran God’s race perfectly.
He is our example.
Keep your mind on the right race.
Colossians 3:1-2 tells us how to do it:
“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground,
absorbed with the things right in front of you.
Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is.
See things from His perspective.”
Some rodeo for fame, some for fortune, some for power, and some for comfort.
God wants us to have a different motive—pleasing Him.
We must try to live every moment of every day,
no matter what the circumstance, in a way that is pleasing to God.
Run away from sin, run to righteousness.
2 Timothy 2:22 says,
“Run from infantile indulgence.
Run after mature righteousness, faith, love, peace…”
Growing up is a part of God’s race. There is a difference in growing up and growing old.
A fairly simple way of telling if you are maturing in God’s race,
examine your level of selfishness and self-centeredness.
If you think more about God and do more for others today than you did yesterday, then you are running well.
Run your race.
We must run the race that God has given each of us.
We waste time and energy if we compare our race to the race of others.
Galatians 6:4 says,
“Make a careful exploration of who you are
and the work you have been given,
and then sink yourself into that.
Don’t be impressed with yourself.
Don’t compare yourself with others.
Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
Run to win.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 we are told to run to win, train hard, and give it everything we've got.
Good cowboys spend much time figuring out how to win, how to be better.
God wants us to be the best at His event.
Sin keeps us from winning.
When we get rid of sin we can go harder, faster, and longer for God.
Get your strength to run... from God!
Get on with God’s race.
Figure out what is slowing you down, and go hard for Jesus.
Sometimes God’s race seems harder than winning a gold buckle.
That’s because our enemy, the devil, is continually looking for ways to get us distracted.
What makes God’s race easier is the help that God will give to each of us.
In Isaiah 40:31 we are told that those that hang their hats with God will find fresh strength.
They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
The Bible contains numerous verses regarding the rewards for those who run God’s race. As the time of Paul’s death draws close he tells us in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 “I have fought a good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord will give me on the day of His return.” And that isn’t all that Paul says, for he continues, “And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return."
God has incredible rewards for those who run His race to win!