JOYFUL month of September, church! It has been seven months since we started the COVID-19 journey. I am praying that we have been hopeful and expectant of the best things ahead.
Are you familiar with these catch phrases? Run the race. Fight the good fight. Finish strong. Obtain the prize. These encouraging words are extracted from a couple of inspiring verses. Did you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run so that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
(1 Corinthians 9:24–25).
In this New Kingdom Norm, we really have to be intentional in keeping our faith in good shape when our faith begins to lose momentum, our spiritual disciplines deteriorates, or our gladness dims. In seasons like these, we need to be reminded to run – even when it hurts, even when we want to give up, or even when we’d rather do anything else. Any race with Jesus will be hard (Luke 9:23). Faith, hope, love, and joy may come freely by grace, but it does not mean these things are always easy.
You might be asking: what is the ultimate expression of our faith in this new norm? Apostle Paul displayed running a race and he was encouraging us to run it well by not only guarding our faith but pursuing that faith and joy in seeing others connected to Jesus Christ. If you want to experience real joy, the secret flows from connecting people to the Lord. Soul-winning is a calling for all followers of Christ.
Apostle Paul knew that winning the lost for Christ may result to rejection most of the time. At this age of uncertainty, the Scipture will always be our anchor in understanding important times and seasons described long time ago. People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power… These men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind, and disqualified regarding the faith. (2 Timothy 3:2–5, 8)
The church and followers of Jesus need to be reminded to keep running the race and not to lose hope or slow down, but to continue to the end. Keep taking risks, keep enduring the inevitable rejection, and hostility, and, above all, keep praying for the lost. Keep running. Keep loving Jesus above all.
Ptra. Mhel Perez