RSS Feed

Tag Archives: marathons

Signs of a Robust Faith

Healthy, strong and vigorous are words synonymous with robust. Unlike modern household goods, antiques were crafted to last. Manufacturers took pride in every piece, designed to be durable, rugged and sturdy. Each unique product was treasured and passed down for generations. After living through two world wars, my grandfather understood the frailty of life, cherishing each of his remaining worldly possessions.

We who are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves, Romans 15:1.

The author of Hebrews compares a Christian faith to running a marathon. As a former runner, aches, cramps and losing breath are hard to overcome. However, when you run with perseverance, your eyes are fixed on the finish line, keeping you going when others decide to quit the race. Robust runners throw off any distractions that hold them back or are weighing them down. When you set your mind on things above, pain is replaced by eternal rewards.

Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Romans 15:5-6.

The greatest quality robust believers exhibit is a deep rooted conviction. Instead of being blown and tossed by the wind, the robust remain firm, holding on to a biblical foundation. As the world changes, the robust stay grounded in the living Word of God. In the passage above, the apostle Paul points out obvious signs of a robust faith. When conviction results in action, fruits of the Spirit naturally flow. If you want to be robust, stay true to your spiritual convictions that flow out of meditating on the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

The Toll of Temptation

Canon Pictures 015

A few years ago, I read an article on the effects marathons had on a runners body.  Based upon totals miles run, long distant runners can lose between a half inch and inch in height over the course of their lives.  The constant pounding on ligaments and tendons takes a toll on the human body, eventually wearing down and shrinking over time.  This might explain how I lost nearly an inch in height after running several thousand miles over a 7 year span.

At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent, Proverbs 5:11.

Inside the human body, another aging process is occurring.  The obvious is the decay of internal organs.  However, the one I am eluding to involves the emotional and spiritual toll temptation takes on the soul.  When you don’t feel well, people make reservations to see a doctor.  However, there are some health conditions that can only be cured by a spiritual transformation.

I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do, Romans 7:15.

The apostle Paul once experienced a trying time in his life.  While the specifics are missing, it appears Paul was struggling to overcome some sort of addiction.  No matter what he tried failed.  Sin was ravaging Paul’s life, unable to break free from this chain of sin.  If you find yourself in a similar pattern, intervention is a must.  Seek out a friend, fellow believer or godly influence to bring you out of this pit of despair.  If you refuse help, the toll of temptation will continue to devastate your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Running with the Gospel

The author of the book of Hebrews refers to life as a marathon.  While the hustle and bustle on the East Coast cause many to sprint, often dying out quickly, its important to pace yourself.  Unfortunately, I find myself going on binges for a few days, then collapse only to repeat this vicious cycle the next week.  I guess its time to start jogging with the gospel.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1.

Sometimes what God tells individuals to do doesn’t make sense.  Thus, like Jonah, many try to run away, going in the opposite direction until storms result in a U-turn.  Meanwhile, some have the gift of faith, able to trust the Lord whatever or wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.  Although I once possessed this gift, doubt has caused me to stop running with the gospel.

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked, Acts 8:30.

The encounter within Acts 8 reveals a powerful lesson about faith.  After an angel spoke to Philip, he began to run along side a chariot going down the road.  To his amazement, a foreigner was reading the book of Isaiah.  Like a scene out of Hollywood, Philip takes advantage of this situation.  In the end, Philip leads this man from Ethiopia to faith in Christ.  Therefore, don’t go through life in an aimless manner.  Rather, start running with the Gospel and you’ll be amazed where God will lead you.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: