Summary: Maybe our churches aren’t overflowing because Christians make servanthood look painful.

When I See A Runner Smile


When I was a freshman in High School my dad really wanted me to be involved in a sport. I had played baseball in little league, and in middle school and wasn’t real thrilled with the idea of playing High School ball.

Basketball was out of the question since I have “White Boys Disease’ I have height but I can’t dribble, pass, shoot, or dunk.

My mom didn’t want me playing Football cause you could get hurt, so we decided on Track.

All freshmen on the track team were required to run cross-country. So there you have it I am a cross-country runner.

Every day after school for a whole year we ran, and ran, and ran.

My Grandfather told me once that he would be a runner when he saw a runner smile. As I thought about that I realized how true it was. As I ran and everybody around me ran we all had these pained expressions on our faces.

Why would I want to do something that I hated lie a woopin’?

We read this in 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”

If the Christian life is like a race I wonder if people ever say, "I’m going to become a Christian when I see a Christian smile."


A. Problems in running

1. Weather.

2. Injury.

3. Stitch.

4. Shin splint.

B. Problems in living the Christian life.

1. Disappointments.

a. Sickness.

b. Death.

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

Acts 9:39 And Peter arose and went with them. And when he had come, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside him weeping, and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.

c. Disappointment in people.

2 Timothy 4:10 because Demas, who loved this world, left me and went to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus went to Dalmatia.

16 The first time I defended myself, no one helped me; everyone left me. May they be forgiven.


A. Runners smile as they enjoy the benefits - if not the action - of running.

B. Christians smile (reflect hope) when others are in despair.

2 Corinthians 4:8,9 (Life Verse) We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 We sorrow, but not as those who have no hope.

We can rejoice, even in difficult circumstances.

1 Peter 1:6,7 This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you.

We can grow toward maturity where we welcome problems as opportunities to grow. James 1:2-5; Romans 5:1-5


Like it or not we are coming on a day where we will have some visitors because it is one of the days where the world thinks to go to church.

The other being Christmas.

We have a great opportunity to show Christ to these visitors and to show them that Christians do Smile.

We Can Do This By:

Not being discouraged by the work.

Galatians 6:9 So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.

Reevaluate why you are serving the Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Be sure your Christianity is helping others.

Matthew 5:16; In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

Christians win when they lose themselves in service.

Matthew 16:24,25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

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