June 03, 2021 · Bob Gass
“I’m giving it everything I’ve got.” 1 Corinthians 9:26 MSG
Long-distance runners don’t just focus on speed but on endurance. They pace themselves so that as they approach the finish line, they can pull out all the stops. Paul said, “I’m running hard for the finish line…giving it everything I’ve got…I’m not going to get caught…telling everyone else…then missing out myself” (vv. 26-27 MSG). For long-distance runners, quitting isn’t an option. Despite delays and disappointments along the way, they know they’ll never be satisfied sitting on the sidelines cheering for those who’ve paid the price to run the race. So if you’re the kind of person who longs to fulfill your God-ordained purpose in life, give it everything you’ve got. Go for it, and don’t forget that Jesus said, “Great gifts mean great responsibilities” (Luke 12:48 MSG). It’s one thing to achieve success; it’s another thing to handle the pressures that go along with it. “Jesus…finished this race…Because he never lost sight of where he was headed…he could put up with anything” (Hebrews 12:2 MSG). Having something great to look forward to enables you to endure. And God will expose you to opposition and criticism to strengthen your character; that way when greater blessings and responsibilities come, you’ll be able to handle them. Success is only possible when you have a passion to cross the finish line. So the question is, can you pay the price? When the pressure is on, can you stand up like Nehemiah when he rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls and tell your opponents this: “My work is too important to stop” (Nehemiah 6:3 CEV)? If your answer is yes, fix your eye on the goal and run to the finish line.