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Run A Straight Race

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from Acts 14:9, “He listened to Paul speaking.  And Paul, looking intently at him, [saw] that he had faith to be made well.”

Background

Faith is a big thing with us Christians.  For as much as we are inclined to do, and for all the instructions we are given in scripture, God makes it perfectly clear that all of our accomplishments and deeds are for naught if we don’t have faith.  The entire Protestant movement began in part because faith was not getting its proper due from the Roman Catholic church.  But what does that faith look like?  Eric Liddell, in Chariots of Fire, talked about it this way: “I want to compare faith to running in a race. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape. 

But how long does that last?  You go home, maybe your dinner’s burnt.  Maybe you haven’t got a job.  So who am I to say, ‘Believe…have faith,’ in the face of life’s realities?  Where does the power come from to see the race to its end?  From within.  Jesus said, ‘Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  If with all your hearts you truly seek Me, you shall ever surely find Me.’  If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.”  Moses had the kind of faith that went from refusing to heed God’s call to standing in front of the all-powerful Pharaoh and delivering an ultimatum backed up by a promise of miraculous judgment.  And here, Paul looks intently at a crippled man who has been listening to him and can somehow see that he has the faith to be made well.  Was this man’s faith also able to do more than get him healed?  We don’t know.  If you have the faith to run a straight race, will you also experience something more when the time comes?

Application

Faith can be a challenge, in large part because of our great dependence on what we can see and understand.  And how you believe and what it looks and feels like to you is probably unique to you and somewhat difficult to explain to another.  But the fact that God gives us our faith should render it somewhat similar and universal, even if the relative strength varies from person to person.  So, as your faith remains grounded in the bedrock of Jesus, but your day gets littered with burnt meals or lack of purpose, look intently at the Source and trust that He will make things well, even if you don’t know what that might look like.

Charge

As we seek Him today, thank God for your faith, and place it once again in the hands of the One who loves you most.

Rich Holt | BCWorldview.org

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