“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line.

I’m giving it everything I’ve got.”  

I Corinthians 9:24 (The Message)

Seasoned long distance runners have learned to focus on endurance, not just speed.  But winning will cost you some things: discipline, diligence, criticism and sacrifice.  So what’s the key to staying in the race?  Hebrews 12:2 in the Message Bible reads, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.  Study how He did it.  Because He never lost sight of where He was headed that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.  And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.  When you find yourselves faltering in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, line upon line, that long litany of hostility He plowed through.  That will shoot adrenaline in your souls.”  Theodore Roosevelt said, “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”  And 2 Corinthians 4:7 -11 J.B. Phillips New Testament says, “This priceless treasure we hold, so to speak, in a common earthenware jar — to show that the splendid power of it belongs to God and not to us. We are handicapped on all sides, but we are never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but we never have to stand it alone: we may be knocked down but we are never knocked out! Every day we experience something of the death of the Lord Jesus, so that we may also know the power of the life of Jesus in these bodies of ours. Yes, we who are living are always being exposed to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be plainly seen in our mortal lives.”