Summary: A message of encouragement when we are tired or losing faith.
Text: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have
kept the faith.”
Theme: Running this race of faith
- In 2015 thousands of runners entered the Comrades marathon.
- I can imagine all the excitement and hype as these thousands of runners lined up at the start of the race.
- There are a few things that make the start of the race very exciting indeed:
• There are television stations from around the world that cover this event and interview runners at the beginning.
• There are race sponsors that hand out free stuff to runners.
• Everyone has trained and envision themselves finishing the race.
• Everyone is happy.
• Besides a handful that get ill before the race and those who cannot make it because of unforeseen circumstances, all runners start the race.
• There is a huge crowd cheering the runners on.
• There are lots of dignitaries present.
• Almost everyone has new gear (running shoes, running clothing) on.
• Everyone has taken the appropriate nutrition in the correct quantities to enable them to endure the race.
- And then the runners come under the starters orders, the gun is fired and the race begins.
- At this point there is huge cheering and there are crowds that line the start that shout encouragement.
- For the first 5 to 6 km the runners are all together.
- Thereafter, the real race begins as the athletes begin to pace themselves according to their training and tactics.
- We can liken the start of the comrades marathon to the watchnight service we have every new years eve.
- The church is full of people, eager to pray themselves into the new year.
- There is a lot of excitement as we all make decisions to serve God diligently in the year to come.
- There are lot of people present at the service and we are excited to enter into a new year.
- As we pray into the new year, we hear the sound of fireworks going off as the world also ushers in the new year.
- For the first month or so all is on track
• We come to church regularly.
• We pray and read the Bible.
• We stay away from the things that cause us to sin.
• We stay committed that THIS year we will be involved in the work of God.
- Then comes February….and the rubber begin to meet the road.
- All the hype of the beginning starts to die off…
- And the falling away begins….
1. The road is lonely
- As the runners of the comrades marathon leave the bright lights of the starting point and as they begin to come to the 5 – 6km mark, the change becomes very evident:
• The big cheering crowd becomes a thin line of supporters.
• There are very TV cameras as most of the media are following the BIG names out in the front.
• Its becomes just the runner, his competitors and the road.
• All the hype has died down and the runner has to get down to the business of finishing the race.
- Likewise with us, all the hype of the new year is long gone.
• The big crowd of the watchnight service is no longer around when we are alone in our homes, or our workplaces.