Christine Caine - Run To Win - Part 3
Hey, everyone. I'm so grateful that you've joined us today. I know that God has a word for you. You have joined us in the midst, of an awesome series. One of my favorite. Where we are likening the Christian life Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, "We are all running in a race, only one wins so that we should run to win". And we're not running for some kind of short term temple medal, but we are running for eternal rewards. I want to remind you today that the life that we are living here, God has created us on purpose for a purpose. That God has a race for each and every one of us to run. Your race and my race may look entirely different, but God has left us here to run for his glory. We are here to live on purpose with intentionality. We are fixing our eyes on Jesus. He's the author. And he's the finisher of our race. He is why we're running. He is who we're running for, and he's who we're running towards.
And that gives our life purpose. That means you get up every day. There's a spring in your step. There's a little glint in your eye. Cause you know that I'm running my race for Jesus. I am serving Jesus. I want to bring great glory to my God here on the earth. I want to produce great fruit because it is to my father's great glory that I bear much fruit. So I want a fruit bearing life. I want a life that honors God. I want to live a life that reflects the goodness of God. The mercy of God, the justice of God, the kindness of God. So there is a reason I'm here on the earth. I mean, you might be watching this go, whoa. I had no idea why I'm here, Christine. I was just like working with a remote control and there you are. But I'm here to tell you today that you were created by God, for a relationship with God. It's Jesus that connects us to God. It's Jesus that connects us to the grace of God. And he has created us.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10, "We are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus". For what reason? For good works that God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. There is a reason you are here on the planet. There is a purpose you are here on the planet, and we are here, to do the good works that God prepared for us before we ever got here. Now there is an enemy that wants to steal, kill, and destroy the plan of God for your life. And so he will put challenges and obstacles, and hurts, and betrayals, and disappointments and discouragement in your path to try to make you stop running your race and to make you try to quit.
And there is some of you on the other side of the screen and you are on the verge of quitting. You're like, it's not worth it. I failed. I've made mistakes. That person left me. I've lost everything. Life seems so hard, but I'm here to tell you that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives on the inside of us. Your history does not need to define your destiny. You don't have to quit. It's not fatal. It's not final. God still has a plan for you. God still has a purpose for you. And we are running a marathon race. This is not a sprint. You might've tripped at some part of the race, but you can still get back up and you can still run your race and you can still finish your course. I want to inspire you today to get back up and get on that marathon running track.
And what we've been learning so far in this series is that marathon runners prepare very differently to how sprint runners prepare. And a lot of us, we try to live our life here on earth. Like it's some kind of sprint and we're always looking to be an overnight success. And how can I fast track the process, and how can I get to the finish line really quick? But the fact is that the race that God has called us to run, there's a grace for your race. There's a pace for your race. And this goes over the whole course of our life. If we are still breathing, God still has a plan and God still has a purpose. And what we've been learning is that marathon runners, they have a vision for the whole race. Marathon runners they endure some discomfort. They know it's going to hurt. They didn't just give up at the first sight of pain because we know that it's going to be painful.
Do you notice now, by this week in the series I've been saying, because we know I'm now calling myself a marathon runner. I am a spiritual marathon runner, maybe not a natural run, but they know that there's going to be pain. What they do is also understand they have to commit to daily disciplines. It's what they do off the track. That determines how well they do on the track. See marathon runners they follow a daily regimen. Marathon runners they follow a daily regimen in the months that lead up to the event, and afterwards they keep it up. They don't stop. So they do not lose their edge. They don't want to lose momentum or the edge that they've got. So in the same way, you and I, as Jesus' followers who are running our race, and we desire earnestly to finish our course. It's critical that we maintain daily discipline. As we run our race we've got to maintain them. It's the small seemingly insignificant daily things that you and I do that will determine whether we end up running our race and finishing our course.
We must never minimize the value of the spiritual practices. Our spiritual practices form us. Practice forms us. Things like staying in the Word of God. Things are being part of a life-giving community of fellow believers. Things like confession and things like repentance. Things like dealing with internal attitudes of the heart. I'm talking about prayer. I'm talking about fasting. I'm talking about guarding our hearts, that they might seem like insignificant things. Some of you like rolling your eyes going, Chris, I was looking for something more flashy. I was looking for something more glamorous, but can I tell you actually these things, they are the practices that give us the strength. They build muscle in us to give us the strength, to keep us running our race and to finish our course. And you've got to keep practicing the practices to get good at the practices. So the practices build the muscles that we need to do, what God has called us to do. So many of us do not want to do the behind the scenes stuff.
We think Christine, listen, that's just legalistic having a quiet time. Can I just tell you after 30 years of following Jesus, there's nothing legalistic about it. It's actually the thing that keeps me connected to God. I have nothing to give you. If I don't have a dynamic, vibrant, authentic, alive relationship with Jesus Christ. That comes out of communing with him, in his word. That means learning to hear his voice through his word. Staying close to him through his word. It helps me. It builds me. It sustains me. Having a dynamic, vibrant life with the Holy Spirit of God. I love going for long walks along the beach and talking with God. And in my spirit hearing God speak to my heart. Let me just say out of that comes a vibrancy. That sustains me. It sustains me in difficult times, learning, learning how to walk with God. Being part of a community of people that can speak into my life. That can pray with me. They could pray for me. That I can help them.
I'm telling you that keeps me sharp. That keeps me on the cutting-edge. That keeps me strong in the Lord. We can't do this thing alone. So the practices build us. The practices form us. The practices are very, very important in our life. Just like in the natural having practices that keep you fit for the game. Practices that affect everything. What you think about, what you talk about, what you eat, what you listen to, how much you sleep. Those practices forge the body to be able to run a marathon race. You and I need spiritual practices and so that we can last the whole course of our life. You know, marathon runners. They also focus on the goal. There's no doubt about it. For a marathon runner completion, finishing the 26.3 miles. That is their objective. Nothing else.
My friend, Kylie, my best friend from Sydney, Australia. We've been friends for almost four decades. She tells me that as soon as she starts running, she keeps repeating to herself. This one phrase, "Kylie, as long as you finish, as long as you finish". She goes, I just keep going one step in front of the other with the intention of finishing the race. She doesn't care who beats her. She doesn't care who overtakes her. She just wants to do her best and finish the race that she started. So I think that's a great lesson for every single one of us. Our goal here on this earth is to be conformed and transformed to the image of Jesus. So we're becoming hopefully day by day, more like Jesus, that's, our goal as Christ followers. So our goal is not that I somehow am better than anyone else, or I finished faster than anyone else. Or I acquire or accumulator, or a mass more accolades than anybody else. That's not the goal. Our goal is to become more like Jesus. Our goal is to help others become more like Jesus. Our goal is to make disciples of all nations.
It's not about how quick we finish, how fast we finish, how much we achieve on the way to finishing. It's taking one step at a time and running our race and finishing our course. See if you and I, get our eyes off the ultimate prize, and the ultimate goal, then we get our eyes on people. We get eyes on status. We get our eyes on self gratification. We get our eyes on things. We start to measure all of the wrong things. We get out of balance and we will probably get off track. The goal is Jesus. The goal is becoming more like Jesus. The goal is being conformed and transformed to the image of Jesus Christ. The goal is to go into all of the world and make disciples.
We are on mission. We are living on purpose. We are running our race and we want to finish our course. We are not to compare ourselves amongst ourselves. We are to encourage each other. We are to lift each other up. We're to help each other finish and cross that finish line. That's what this deal is about. Man. If you get your eyes off the goal, then you're going to start to develop a mentality. That things are just not moving fast enough for you. You can feel like you're not being rewarded enough or acknowledged enough. And soon enough, you could end up just uprooting yourself and walking out of your God given purpose and your God given destiny. When you start thinking it's about me, and forget that it's actually all about Jesus. Jesus calls us to himself.
I want to remind you this whole thing's about Jesus. Jesus is the one that called us. Jesus is the one that sustains us. Jesus is the one that's waiting for us. It's all about Jesus. I know sometimes people can let you down. Institutions can let you down. Sometimes you could feel disappointed and thought, oh, wasn't meant to go like this, but Jesus will never let you down. I'm here to remind you today. We signed up for Jesus. We're following Jesus. We're serving Jesus. We're doing this for Jesus. We're running towards Jesus. He is the goal. Remember the goal. And a marathon runner not only remembers the goal, but a marathon runner realizes that the run is worth the effort. I'm here to remind someone today, the run is worth the effort. I know you're thinking, Christine, should I get up today and give this thing another go? Yes. The run is worth the effort. An interesting thing I discovered is that very, very few marathon runners are paid well for what they do. Most in fact are uncompensated and unheralded. They run for the feeling of accomplishment. That's the thing that drives them.
My, friends always tell me, Chris, you have no idea how satisfied I feel when I cross that finish line. And I think, you know what? I do have no idea. And I'm never going to have any idea because I don't plan on running a marathon. But they're like Chris, the buzz, the pump factor, it's awesome. So the great thing about us, Jesus followers, running this spiritual race that we're running and finishing means that we not only have personal satisfaction, but our lives have eternal significance. Paul says, remember we keep coming back to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. I'm sure you've memorized it by now. "Everyone who competes for the prize, is tempered in all things". Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we, for an imperishable crown, that's beautiful. You know, nick and I had the privilege of being able to attend some of the events at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Now my kids laugh because you know, they weren't even born at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. They're like, mom, you are so old. And I think, I know, I know they were not even born then. And so it was awesome. We got to see many different medal ceremonies. And I remember thinking during the ceremony, after the 100 meter sprint final. I thought those athletes, those incredible athletes, they sacrificed so much. And for so many years, to run a race that lasted less than 10 seconds. Now listen for all of us non-athletes, I'm just like, yo, you put all of those years. All of that sacrifice, all of that time, all of that social life that was sacrificed, the diet and no pizza and the relationships. And so many other things, you did that. And more power to you. I'm so proud of you. But you did that for something that ultimately lasted less than 10 seconds.
Now, here is my deal. That is someone's willing to do that in the natural to get a medal at an Olympic games. How much more should we as Jesus followers, we're running an eternal spiritual race. Should we run? And should we be disciplined and should we be willing to sacrifice and put Jesus first in every area of our life, because our reward is imperishable. Our reward is imperishable. Our reward is eternal. Our life has eternal ramifications. I want to wake someone up today. I want to remind you that you have an imperishable reward waiting for you. I want to remind you that your life has eternal significance. It's not just about here and now, it's not just about these 24 hours. It has an eternal reward. It has eternal significance. How much more worthwhile does that make every single thing that we do? Every single thing that we say. How much more before we know my life is going to matter for all eternity. The people I'm going to impact, it matters for all eternity.
The things that I do, it's not just about some short-term reward here and now. You may never get it here and now. You may never get a check mark, a blue check mark here and now. You may never get the applause or the accolades of people here and now. But is God worthy of you giving it all. Whether people see it or not. Whether people like it or not. Whether people follow you or not. Is God worthy? Is God worthy? Do you think about the imperishable reward? Do you think about the eternal significance? I think we've gotten so caught up in our day and age with the here and now, that we're forgetting that there is any eternity. There is life on the other side. That there is a heavenly reward. And I wonder, if we would live a little bit different on earth. If we were more aware of what's going on in heaven. If we were aware that we're all going to get, listen, the coronavirus did one thing. I think it reminded us all that we're all mortal.
George Bernard Shaw once said, "Death is the ultimate statistic. One of one dies". I bet you are so encouraged you tuned in today. The fact is we will all die. We will all live. And I want us to run this marathon in order to win. I want us to understand that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundant. I want us to understand that part of our responsibility as Jesus followers here on this earth is to bring, to let his kingdom come here on earth as it is in heaven. Our job is to, to help enact justice on this earth. Our job is to help be peace makers on this earth, to talk about the grace of God, the love of God. To proclaim the Gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ. To bring goodness, and newness, and hope ,and beauty and love in our sphere of influence. But I also don't want us to become so earthly minded that we forget that there is another side. We used to say in Christianity, don't become so heavenly minded that you're no earthly good. And that was some people. It was just, man, I just cannot wait for the rapture. I just want to be zapped up and out of here. And then we never cared about the world around us, the pain, and the poverty, and the injustice, and the sexism, and the racism, and the abuse, and the human trafficking and the hunger. Or to be in any way caring about creation. We just kind of thought, I don't care about this world.
Now God calls us to care about this world. It is very important that we care about this world and it is equally important that we do not forget about the next world. It is equally important, that we remember that our lives can have eternal significance. That we will live for eternity. Destination, we get to choose, but we say, you know what? I am. I am going to step into eternity. And I want my life to matter. I want my life to have counted. I want to receive my imperishable reward. There is nothing wrong with wanting that Christian. There is nothing wrong, scripture talks to us and says, you need to think about this. You need to think about on the other side, there are going to be rewards. There are eternal rewards. Are you running your race here on earth? You may not get accolades or rewards for men. In fact, to live as a Jesus follower in this day, and in this age, a lot of people are not going to be applauding you.
There are so many things that are just antithetical to the culture that we live in. That people will not be applauding us. In fact, they would applaud us if we were to live lives that are contrary to the scriptures. And so, you know what? You're just going to have to deal with the fact that we are not going to get a whole lot of applause, this side of eternity, but we walk in love. We walk in grace, we walk in mercy, we walking goodness, and kindness and peace. And we continue to talk about the love of God, and the goodness of God. We stay faithful to the Word of God. We stay obedient to the instructions of God, and that we know that it's not for nothing. That we're running a race that will yield an eternal reward. That we may not be applauded this side of eternity. We know may not be acknowledged this side of eternity. We may not be promoted this side of eternity, that we are going to step over the line. We're going to step over the threshold.
And there are imperishable rewards that are waiting. And we want to stay faithful. We want to run our race. We want to finish our cause. Our lives are of eternal value. So yes, while we are here on this planet, we're going to run with intentionality. While we are here on this planet, we are going to seek to work out the purpose for which we're here. To go into all the world, and make disciples of all nations. To bring love, and joy, and peace, and goodness, and kindness and beauty into the world around us. To bring peace, to fight against injustice. But we're not just doing it about the here and now, because there will be a new heaven. There will be a new earth. We are followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We believe that we're going to step over the threshold into eternity. And when we get to the other side, we want to know that we've run this race for a purpose. And I want to assure you, according to the Word of God, there are eternal rewards waiting on the other side.