Summary: Part 10 of 10 of the series, Supernatural Transformation. Jesus finished strong. He wants us to not only finish the race but finish strong. And it is possible - even when you think it’s already "finished" that you are the rotten egg - IT’S NOT OVER YET!
"LAST ONE IN IS A ROTTEN EGG!"
Read at beginning of service:
Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV)
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
It’s seems that life is like a race. You know what I mean…It all begins with the trip we make down the birth canal (some of us got to take the shortcut – but then you missed all the fun!). It continues through our childhood years as parents compare their child’s growth progress, "Oh, Tommy can speak sentences now – how’s little Steven doing?" Then there are the childhood games some of you may remember that illustrate the point that life seems to be a race. We played tag where the race is to avoid being it – we played hide-and-seek where the race is to avoid being found – we played Red-Red-Rover where the race is to break through the other teams line – we played Duck-Duck-Goose where the race is to get in the empty spot! Isn’t it interesting as you think upon these childhood games that not much changed as we grew into adults? We still play tag – isn’t it always someone else who is responsible for our actions? We still play Hide and Seek – we don’t want to be found…OUT!…get the picture?
Not only does life seem to be a race but it also seems to be a characteristic of this world that everyone is striving to WIN this race. Whether it be the race of success in career or family; or the race against time with the things that just have to be done; or the race towards perfection in health and looks; or even the race for prosperity in riches and fame. We are inundated in our world with the call casually cried in our childhood years, "Last one in is a rotten egg!" Certainly we were never mysteriously transformed into an egg or considered rotten if we happened to be the last one in the water as a child but later in life when we find ourselves trailing in the race we feel every bit like a rotten egg. For some this feeling is terribly crippling – it robs them of their joy, of their sense of self-worth, of their hope, and sadly for some – their life.
I know that there have been times that I have really felt the pressures of this race close in on me and I want to quit, I want to run away, I want to go and hide. Then there are other times that I’m oblivious to the race as I ride the crest of a "win", when I finish something and feel a sense of satisfaction with the completion of the task.
For many of us this "race" we run in life brings a lot of tasks to accomplish. These tasks can range from the big ones like raising a family to the small ones like having vitamins in the morning. Do you ever notice that there are some things that we set out to do that never seem to get finished? (I see Kerryanne is nodding her head at me, and yes, I must admit – the kitchen still isn’t finished!) For the things we don’t care about it’s no big deal – but for the things that we do care about it is a big deal.