“Building a firm foundation in Christ is a marathon, not a sprint.”~TB
A marathon cannot be run after a few test practices. Similarly, a relationship with Christ cannot be achieved after one run glance at the Word. We cannot put short-term efforts into knowing our Father in Heaven. No, it takes a lifetime of seeking, listening, failing, repenting, trying, and the like to uncover a semblance of understanding who Christ is. Friends, this is a lifelong endeavor of which we must forego the short-term comfort of ignorance to embrace the long-term impacts of salvation. Do your training accordingly.
When you put in the work each day to learn the Truth of Christ, you build an endurance to run the race He has set before you. The shortcuts are less appealing and the long-term goal of receiving the gift that only He can give becomes the priority. We cannot know the winning effects of knowing God without doing our daily training with Him. More to the point, we have to encourage and give hope to our teammates so that they may be inspired and not deterred from training for their race. Though each day brings its own challenge, consider the long-term advantages of running with Christ than against.
Are you putting in the work, or are you waiting until the last minute to cram a lifetime of training?
Enjoy the reading
1“If a man divorces a woman and she goes and marries someone else, he will not take her back again, for that would surely corrupt the land. But you have prostituted yourself with many lovers, so why are you trying to come back to me?” says the LORD .
2“Look at the shrines on every hilltop. Is there any place you have not been defiled by your adultery with other gods? You sit like a prostitute beside the road waiting for a customer. You sit alone like a nomad in the desert. You have polluted the land with your prostitution and your wickedness.
3That’s why even the spring rains have failed. For you are a brazen prostitute and completely shameless.
4Yet you say to me, ‘Father, you have been my guide since my youth.
5Surely you won’t be angry forever! Surely you can forget about it!’ So you talk, but you keep on doing all the evil you can.”
6During the reign of King Josiah, the LORD said to me, “Have you seen what fickle Israel has done? Like a wife who commits adultery, Israel has worshiped other gods on every hill and under every green tree.
7I thought, ‘After she has done all this, she will return to me.’ But she did not return, and her faithless sister Judah saw this.
8She saw that I divorced faithless Israel because of her adultery. But that treacherous sister Judah had no fear, and now she, too, has left me and given herself to prostitution.
9Israel treated it all so lightly—she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone. So now the land has been polluted.
10But despite all this, her faithless sister Judah has never sincerely returned to me. She has only pretended to be sorry. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
11Then the LORD said to me, “Even faithless Israel is less guilty than treacherous Judah!
12Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the LORD says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever.
13Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the LORD, have spoken!
14“Return home, you wayward children,” says the LORD, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel — one from this town and two from that family— from wherever you are scattered.
15And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.
16“And when your land is once more filled with people,” says the LORD, “you will no longer wish for ‘the good old days’ when you possessed the Ark of the LORD ’s Covenant. You will not miss those days or even remember them, and there will be no need to rebuild the Ark.
17In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the LORD .’ All nations will come there to honor the LORD . They will no longer stubbornly follow their own evil desires.
18In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever.
19“I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land— the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me.
20But you have been unfaithful to me, you people of Israel! You have been like a faithless wife who leaves her husband. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
21Voices are heard high on the windswept mountains, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s people. For they have chosen crooked paths and have forgotten the LORD their God.
22“My wayward children,” says the LORD, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the LORD our God.
23Our worship of idols on the hills and our religious orgies on the mountains are a delusion. Only in the LORD our God will Israel ever find salvation.
24From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for— their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters— was squandered on a delusion.
25Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the LORD our God. From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.”
“We live in a world where instant gratification can often provide us with temporary solutions, but God’s solutions are rarely instant, yet will sustain you for a lifetime.”
Be patient when problems require more complex formulas to the equations of your life as the right formula requires open ears to gain the knowledge. Patience is an art form which takes years to craft and hone– depending on your willingness to listen. Some learn fast and others, not so much, but in the end, it’s something we develop or endure. The choice is yours.
Be disciplined in your work as what knowledge you acquire throughout life will help you learn and apply the formulas to your personal equations. In math, we learn the functions and techniques successively, and life isn’t very different. So be disciplined in learning and retaining the smaller functions, which will later combine into more complex formulas, becoming the necessary solutions to life’s challenges.
Beware of the glamorous and attractive shortcuts the world provides as those solutions will provide temporary comfort, compounded with deeper problems down the road. Biblical solutions are plain and simple, yet require a great amount of patience and discipline to truly accomplish. There is more effort and sacrifice needed, but the reward, immeasurable
Question of the day
Are you seeking the world’s short-term fixes or God’s everlasting solutions?
Enjoy the today’s reading
Numbers 9 NIV
1The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said 2“Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. 3Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.” 4So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, 5and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses. 6But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day 7and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the LORD’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?” 8Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you.” 9Then the LORD said to Moses, 10“Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the LORD’s Passover,11but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. 13But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the LORD’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin. 14“ ‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the LORD’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.’ ”
The Cloud Above the Tabernacle
15On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out. 20Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. 22Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23At the LORD’s command they encamped, and at the LORD’s command they set out. They obeyed the LORD’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.