Posts Tagged ‘Galatians 6:9’

Finish strong

June 20, 2018

Finish strong

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, consider the Quote of the Day for June 20, 2018, words of wisdom from Billy Sunday, a former professional baseball player who rose to become one of the most popular evangelists of the early 20th Century:

“Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out. It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.”

As spiritual athletes, we push ourselves not only to finish, but to “finish strong.” Many times as athletes come to the end of their event, they may become totally exhausted, physically and emotionally drained with seemingly with no more to give. At that point, they are in desperate need of a word of encouragement, a word fitly spoken to those who are weary and about to give up.

A passage where Paul uses athletic imagery comes to mind:

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

To press toward the mark is to focus intently, to “scope in on” as one with a telescope which blocks everything out except that which you are looking at. As we approach the finish line we must “single-minded,” focusing all of our energy and efforts on finishing our race. We must not look to the right nor to the left, certainly we must not look behind, but I press toward the mark, striving to cross the finish line. We recognized that we have to cross the finish line before we can receive the prize.

At this point, we have been running our race well, but we must not get weary in well-doing, knowing that we shall reap in due season if we simply do not faint, so says Galatians 6:9,  a verse added to the passage from Philippians 3 to introduce this exhortation:

We Press toward the Mark                             

 And let us not grow weary while doing good,

 for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9

 

I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

 

 

We know we must not be weary in all we do;

In due season we will reap if we do not faint,

As we press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

 

God has thus spoken, and His word is ever true.

According to their labor God rewards each saint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

 

Though our new season may appear long overdue,

Despite how bright or bleak the picture life may paint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

 

Christ alone will restore and give life and renew.

Though pressures of life overwhelm, we must not faint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

 

To obey, giving honor where honor is due,

To move freely in the spirit with no constraint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

 

Each day God extends mercy, making all things new.

Gladly we learn to serve the Lord without restraint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

Final words of encouragement:

In thinking about my track and field experiences, I recall  that many times the outcome of the entire track meet was known beforehand, based on the accumulation of points from all the previous track and field events,  with the last two races being relays.  Drawing a spiritual parallel with the spiritual athletic arena that we find ourselves in today, the believers’ team is so far ahead that we cannot lose; however, the challenge is for each individual believer to finish the race, having achieved his or her P.B. (personal best).

In a similar way, believers are encouraged in their individual races to

Cast aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets,

We are right at the end of the race; it won’t be long.

Forget the past, look straight ahead with no regrets.

Press on toward the finish and finish strong!

We close as Jonathan Nelson encourages us to “Finish Strong”

Another word for the weary

July 15, 2017

At the beginning of the New Year, a friend whom I had not corresponded with for decades reconnected and asked if I had a word of encouragement for one who is “weary.” In response to her request, several scriptures came to mind as well as previous blog posts with references to “the weary.” Here is an excerpt from that original post which serves a prelude to a new word of encouragement for the weary in this current season:

A verse that comes to mind as a source of encouragement from the words of the Lord Jesus Christ is found in Matthew 11:28 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

In thinking about Jesus Christ, remember this exhortation from Hebrews 13:2-3

2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

From Galatians 6:9 (AMP) comes this encouragement:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

This word is echoed in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (AMPC)

And as for you, brethren, do not become weary or lose heart in doing right [but continue in well-doing without weakening].

One of my all-time favorite Old Testament passages related to being weary comes from Isaiah 40:28 31 (NLT):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

I thought about these particular verses today, as I “happened upon” a poem that I had written years ago that could be viewed as a fresh word of exhortation for anyone who may have grown weary during the current season, the perilous times that some describe as a severe famine:

“Now there was famine in the land. . .”

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down
into Egypt to live temporarily, for the famine in the land
was oppressive (intense and grievous.

Genesis 12:10 (AMP)

Although there may be many famines in the land,
We shall never want during times of scarcity,
But we survive and thrive, upheld by God’s right hand.
Anchored in the Word of God, as a seasoned tree
Planted by rivers of water with a tap root,
Even in times of drought our leaves still remain green
With bountiful harvests of spiritual fruit.
Each day we walk by faith and not by what is seen.
Though we may falter, we still strive to do our best.
For the faithful and loyal, those called to obey,
Those created in righteousness and set apart,
This time of extreme lack is yet another test.
In famine we will trust and not seek our own way,
Never yearning to return to Egypt in our heart.
As we follow God and pursue His righteous ways,
We will be strong and wise and prosper all our days.

May these words offer strength to those who may feel weary, knowing that God promises to renew our strength, as we wait upon Him. Esther Mui offers this comforting reminder: Isaiah 40:25-31 Song “Those Who Wait on the LORD.”

Facts say failure; faith says success

March 6, 2017

Philippians 3--13-14

“The Quote of the Day” for March 6, 2017 is another word of encouragement related to “faith”:

“Facts say I am a failure. Faith says I am a success and an overcomer.”

The verse associated with this statement comes from Revelation 12: 10-11 (AMP):

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.

One of the first blog entries posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe came to mind, in that it dealt with “failure and success.” The following excerpt examines these two polar opposites in light of the Word of God:

According to the facts, in the minds of many, as believers, we have been designated as total failures due the circumstances of our lives at this time. In response, we ask does it really matter what “the facts say.”  Facts change constantly, but our faith is grounded in the truth of God’s Word which never changes. The following document raises a question and offers an encouraging response:

What is failure?

Failure doesn’t mean that you are a failure;
it does mean you haven’t yet succeeded.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have accomplished nothing;
it does mean you have learned something.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have been a fool;
it does mean you have a lot of faith.

Failure doesn’t mean that you have been disgraced;
it does mean you were willing to try.

Failure doesn’t mean you don’t have it;
it does mean you have to do something in a different way.

Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior;
it does mean you are not perfect.

Failure doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your life;
it does mean you have a reason to start afresh.

Failure doesn’t mean you should give up;
it does mean you must try harder.

Failure doesn’t mean you will never make it;
it does mean it will take a little longer.

Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you;
it does mean God has a better way.

Author unknown


  The Living Word Library © 1996 – 2008
editor@wordlibrary.co.uk

http://www.biblelife.co.uk/printarticle.php?id=523

Many believers view their lives as a failure or success. After some serious consideration, I have changed my thinking from accepting the duality of “either/or” to embracing concept of “both/and.” In the process I have gone from the designation of being a “total failure” to “not being as successful” as I would like to have been in certain categories.

Failure and its antonym, success, are connected in this definition which introduces the last stanza of a familiar poem of great inspiration that was recently posted entitled “Don’t Quit.”

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

Many will readily embrace the title of failure and simply give up when they are actually so close to the successfully finishing their race. The Scriptures encourage us with these words:

Philippians 3:13-14:

13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We Press toward the Mark

And let us not grow weary while doing good,

for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Galatians 6:9

I press toward the mark for the prize

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

We know we must not be weary in all we do;

In due season we will reap if we do not faint,

As we press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

God has thus spoken, and His word is ever true.

According to their labor God rewards each saint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

Though our new season may appear long overdue,

Despite how bright or bleak the picture life may paint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

Christ alone will restore and give life and renew.

Though pressures of life overwhelm, we must not faint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

To obey, giving honor where honor is due,

To move freely in the spirit with no constraint,

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

Each day God extends mercy, making all things new.

Gladly we learn to serve the Lord without restraint.

We know we must not be weary in all we do.

We must press toward the mark of the prize and pursue.

In closing, let me make this final statement about what appears to be failure. I’m sure that if we scrutinized our lives closely we could easily be overcome by a sense of failure in light of the circumstances that surround us. We can take courage and be strengthened, however, by the example of someone whose life ended most tragically without apparently accomplishing his mission. He died a shameful death, and those who believed in him, deserted him. Yes, Jesus Christ, in the eyes of the world was a disastrous failure at the end of his life. However, we know “the rest of the story,” and I am writing these words of exhortation to you because of his triumph over the worst possible circumstances—even death itself. Because he was a super-conqueror, in all these things we are more than conquerors.

So take heart, my brothers and sisters, and be encouraged. The best is always yet to come. So we must encourage one another and remember that when we experience what seems to be failure, that “a set-back is just a set-up for a comeback.”

We also take comfort in the timeless universal truth, a quotation for all season that “This too shall pass.” This expression is set to music and rendered in a most inspiring manner as Yolanda Adams reminds us: “This Too Shall Pass”

 

Word to the weary

January 9, 2017

isaiah-50-4

As we move into the second week of the New Year, I wanted to share a response to a friend who asked if I had a word of encouragement for one who is “weary.” In thinking about “a word to the weary,” several scriptures came to mind as well as a previous blog post that also made reference to “the weary.” Today’s entry combines those two elements in a fresh word of exhortation for anyone who at any time, particularly lately, may have grown tired and weary.
First of all, the topic brought to mind this verse from the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:

Isaiah 50:4

[The Servant of God says] The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].

Another verse also comes to mind as a source of encouragement from the words of the Lord Jesus Christ found in Matthew 11:28 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

In thinking about Jesus Christ, remember this exhortation from Hebrews 13:2-3

2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.

Finally, from Galatians 6:9 (AMPC):

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

This word is echoed in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (AMPC)

And as for you, brethren, do not become weary or lose heart in doing right [but continue in well-doing without weakening].

Another Old Testament passage related to being weary comes from Isaiah 40:28 31(NLT):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,1
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

During this intense time of transition, as believers move forward, going from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and from victory to victory, we all can grow weary to the point of utter exhaustion as we strive toward the next level of excellence in our lives. The words that we need to undergird and support us come from the Word of God. God, our faithful Father, is always speaking, but we may not always be listening. As children of God, we need to tune our ears to hear to word of God. The opening verse of our discussion comes from Isaiah 50:4 which is part of the introduction to this poetic exhortation that as believers we must develop:

The Art of Listening

God has something to say to you,
God has something to say.
Listen, Listen, Pay close attention.
God has something to say.

Children’s Song

The Lord GOD has given Me
The tongue of the learned,
That I should know how to speak
A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear
To hear as the learned.
The Lord GOD has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.

Isaiah 50:4-5

Listen, listen, dear ones; hear with the inner ear.
Tune your ears to hear in the center of your heart.
I will whisper cherished secrets as you come near.
To listen intently and obey is an art,
Practiced and perfected day by day.
As you hide my Word in the center of your heart,
I perform and bring to pass each word that I say.
In my unfolding Kingdom, you too have a part,
For to walk in love is the more excellent way.
Partake of my promises and consume my Word.
As precious as life-giving water, hold it dear
And do my will, proving all things that you have heard.
Listen intently and obey: Perfect this art.
Listen, listen, dear ones; hear with the inner ear.

We conclude with Mercy Me offering “Word of God Speak”:

As we press further into the New Year, let us not be weary in well doing but perfect the “Art of Listening” in “2017, the best year we have ever seen.”