Summary: A message of encouragement when we are tired or losing faith.

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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.

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