The end of the year is not magical for life change, but it is as good of time as any for evaluating your life and examining your heart. This flip (or swipe) of the calendar brings a close and opening of a decade. We are just days away from the 20’s, the TWENTY-Twenties. As usual when there are more than two people, one exhortation will have to work for many applications.
Some of you, for sake of increasing growth in Christ this next year, need to take on more. This past year we studied Paul’s exhortation to run to win with full self-control (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We heard him say to quit like men, be strong, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; 16:13). We were reminded that every believer is part of the body, and gifted for sake of building up the body (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:12). Watching others work is not a gift, and I mean that in multiple ways. Do you need to add Bible reading and prayer to your disciplines? Do you need to add faithfulness to your participation at small group? Do you need to stop making your husband to all the work at home, or visa versa?
Others of you, for sake of increasing growth in Christ, need to take more off. Hebrews 12 also uses the race metaphor, and running is a lot easier when you lose some weight. I once calculated my weight per step in a marathon, and losing just a few pounds would make a huge different over the entire course. It’s never good to carry sin around, and there are other things, not sinful per se, that we also carry that help no one.
“Lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)
This is the end of a lap but not the end of your race. How are you running to win?