Lifelines

Running the race with patience

Bettie Marlowe
Posted 1/6/17

If you’re contemplating on how you can improve your life in 2017, I found just what you need in Romans 12. Paul gave practical guidelines for Christian daily living and shows how righteousness …

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Lifelines

Running the race with patience

Posted

If you’re contemplating on how you can improve your life in 2017, I found just what you need in Romans 12. Paul gave practical guidelines for Christian daily living and shows how righteousness should be put into practice in every relationship.

First of all in verses 1 and 2 — and this is most important — he tells believers what their relationship with God should be — giving oneself completely to God is a “reasonable” service.

Next, in verses 3 through 8, Paul talks about the person in the mirror — you. What do you think of yourself? This new year is a great time to examine that person who is looking back at you.

To look at oneself honestly is to admit that a person needs God, and next, people need each other. We have no business thinking ourselves better than another. In the Greek text, the word, “huperphroneo,” is used which means “overmuch, i.e. be vain or arrogant.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (KJV), Paul says that if you’re going to think highly of anyone, let it be your brother.

To be successful and to please the Lord, Christians should live a life of fellowship, service and love — not a life of prohibitions, but a positive life through Christ who saved us.

Fellowship with the saints means interdependence, a right view of oneself in the Body of Christ and spiritual responsibility.

Service through the Spirit means the diversity of spiritual gifts to the edification of the saints — not to elevate oneself.

Love makes it all work. Paul said, “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17 KJV).

Finally, the Apostle wrote, “Pray for us “that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified, even as it is with you:” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 KJV).

There are things (and opportunities) in a Christian’s life that contribute to the “free course” of the Word in our lives: love without pretense, abhor evil and cleave to good, honor, esteem, fervency, rejoicing, hospitable, caring, not gloating, sympathy, honesty, peace, giving good for evil ... and so forth.

Other things hinder the “free course” of the Word, such as pride, financial problems, exalted opinions, self-exultation, unholy living, un-Christlike personality, comfort-seeking, uncaring, negative attitude and so forth.

Christians are to be the “light” of the world and “salt” of the earth. The child of God is meant to be: 1. Consecration of entire self to God — a living sacrifice given to holy service. 2. Not conformed to this world, but sanctified, spirit-filled with a new nature and new goals. 3. Surrendered life of humility and grace.

A runner in a race can’t negotiate the course if it has been clogged with junk, trash or other items that block the way. Anything that could hinder has to be taken out of the way. And you certainly can’t carry your baggage along.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

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