28th April, 2017

The Race of Grace

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace
Acts 20:24 (NIVUK)

Given that we live in an ultra-competitive society, it was heart-warming to witness a selfless act in this week’s London Marathon. It was when one athlete sacrificed some of his own race time so that he could help another who was staggering toward the finishing line. Both athletes went on to finish the race together.

In the book of Acts and elsewhere in Paul’s own writings, Paul uses an analogy about a race and the Christian calling. His emphasis is not about winning the race ahead of others, but rather about finishing the race. Also, he explains that, as he seeks to do this, he realises that his life is effectively worth nothing to himself. In other words, it’s not about Paul but it’s all about the finishing the race.

To Paul this race is like a task he must complete. What is the task? Surprisingly perhaps, he does not say it is to remain faithful to the end, to do good works, or some other idea which might seem appropriate. Such things are important, of course, but Paul describes the task, that is the race, in other terms, as we can read above in Acts 20. Paul had been persecuted for preaching the Gospel, and some had even plotted to kill him. Nevertheless, he remains undaunted: his life’s task, he explains, is to testify to the good news of God’s grace.

All believers are caught up in this race. We all have the relational task for witnessing to the Gospel of grace, which is that Jesus sacrificed himself for the whole world so that everyone might be saved. We do this, not just in words, but in how we live and in the selfless choices we make. Perhaps we see fellow Christians struggling along the way: let’s not worry about ourselves, but help each other in this race. Jesus helps us all as we run, and it is he who pulls each of us over the finishing line.

Together, let’s run the race with Jesus, and witness to his wonderful Gospel.

Prayer
Thank you, Father, for calling us into the wonderful race of grace, and help us to help others when they stumble, and, also, thank you for Jesus, who brings all of us over the finishing line. Help us, please, to testify to his Gospel. In Jesus’ name.
Amen
 

Study by James Henderson

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About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking ay our Scottish Retreat.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
james.henderson@gracecom.church
Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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