Sunday, July 31, 2016

Eliminate the competition

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." Matthew 6:24

I had the blessing of joining some friends for an early-morning 5k Saturday. As we were standing around waiting for the race to begin, I watched one of them intently eyeing the crowd. When he spotted me looking, he informed me that he was checking out the competition. He explained further that he was looking to see how good his chances were of winning his age group by determining if there were any male runners he would have to compete with. To his dismay, there appeared to be a few men that would challenge him for that top spot and, upon crossing the finish line, found that he had indeed been beaten by the competition. 

While sizing up the competition in a race is a good indicator of whether we might win, doing it in our spiritual race is necessary to ensure that we will win. You see, there are many things in this world that will compete with our love and loyalty to Jesus-money being one of the biggest rivals. In fact, Matthew 6:24 warns us that you and I "cannot serve both God and money." We cannot spend most of our time working to earn a dollar without having it affect our commitment to Christ. Simply said, we cannot love the things of this world if we wish to be true followers of Jesus. We will "be devoted to the one and despise the other." We just can't serve two masters- the competition must be eliminated altogether. 

So what is it you find occupying the majority of your thoughts, time and efforts? Is it your pursuit of Christ or is it the pursuit of money and the things it can buy? Because, as Thomas Merton wrote, "A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire."

Heavenly Father, thank you for demanding our time, attention and loyalty. It's only when we set our eyes on you that we can have true victory in our lives. Putting you first frees us from the love of money and the many things that would serve to compete with our allegiance to you. May we pursue you today with a relentless pace as we race to the finish. It's in your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen. 

Happy Running!!!

Nothing compares - Third Day

We had a great time at the Old Settlers Day 5k in Waynesville, Mo. Great course and plenty of entertainment afterwards as the race kicked off the Old Settlers Day Festival.