Monday, May 15, 2017

A Life of Persistence

Chuckle: Two youngsters went into their parents bathroom and noticed the scale in the corner. “Whatever you do, don’t step on it!,” said one. “Why not,” asked the other. “Because every time Mom does, she lets out an awful scream!”
Quote: "Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.” --Napoleon Hill

"I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven" (Philippians 3:14 NLT).
"The path of least resistance" is a common phenomenon in nature. Electricity moving through a circuit will always travel where it has the easiest route -- least resistance. A river always travels around a mountain because it’s an easier path than going through one. But there is a difference between ourselves and electricity or a river. They will never have to give an account to God for what they have done. We will. Thus, perhaps we should select the path of greatest persistence rather than least resistance.
The dictionary defines "persistence" this way: "refusing to give up; steady and determined; going on and on." I'm reminded of the Energizer Bunny that keeps going and going and going. Living for our Lord does not call for one short burst of speed but rather a steady and persistent pace of spiritual growth over a lifetime. It isn't the "sprinter" Christian that serves Christ the best because he/she may try for instant spiritual maturity. Rather, like marathon runners, it is the one who remains faithful day after day, year after year. Those without persistence will be hot and cold. Their lives are marked with periods of excitement then apathy, faithfulness then unfaithfulness. They are easily discouraged.
The apostle Paul, made it his goal to know and become like Christ no matter how difficult his life became. "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death . . ." (Philippians 3:10 NIV). He wanted to know Christ more intimately every single day. He recognized that he was not there yet and he saw his journey toward spiritual maturity as a race requiring persistent effort and focus as long as he lived. Like an athlete, he was straining every fiber of his being to reach the finish line and win the prize. He would not let anything distract him from attaining his goal -- becoming like Christ.
We can let go of past failures and guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. That's because we serve a God of second chances. We can grow in our knowledge and understanding of God by concentrating on our relationship with Him now and in the future. Realize that your sins have been forgiven and now you are free to move persistently on to a life of faith and obedience. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we should lay aside anything that might distract us from being effective Christians who bring glory to God by the way we live. You will find joy and fulfillment when you become persistent in your pursuit of God's purpose for your life.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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