Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Running Back

Read: 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 
                                                                                                      2 Corinthians 7:1

     Glenn Cunningham was a remarkable man. At eight years old, his job was to use kerosene to start the fire in the pot-bellied stove in the one-room schoolhouse he attended. When someone mistakenly replaced the kerosene with gasoline, the explosion started a fire from which he was rescued unconscious. His lower body was burned so badly that, as Glenn lay in the hospital room, he overheard a doctor tell his mother that it would have better for him if he had just died in the fire. His legs were useless, and, at the very least, he would never walk again. Glenn refused to concur with that diagnosis, and, with great determination and effort, he taught himself to walk again. Not only did he walk, but he also began to run – fast. By the time he was in college, he was setting the one-mile race records on the track. In 1974, he was elected into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. I began thinking about Glenn’s accomplishments and this thought struck me: after God gave Glenn Cunningham the strength to walk and run again, how foolish do you think it would have been if Glenn had purposely started another fire and jumped into it? You and I would both agree that something like that would be ridiculous – unthinkable.
      Many Christians live their lives in the exact same way. It happens in one of two ways. God delivers them out of a horribly wicked lifestyle (or for many young people who get saved as children, He saves them before they can be ruined by that lifestyle) by allowing them to hear the message of the gospel. They give their lives to Him and vow to serve Him. It isn’t long, however, before the former friends and vices are trying to pull them back into their old lifestyle. They soon give in and return to that lifestyle. There is a second way this happens, as well. Because there is no such thing as perfectionism, every Christian will sin after they are saved. As a Christian backslides, however, the degree to which he falls varies greatly. Some make huge mistakes that take them years to recover from. After they finally restore their relationship with God, they allow the old temptations back into their lives, and it is not long before they have fallen right back into their backslidden state.
     God did not give you the strength to get back on your feet so you could run right back to the thing that knocked you down the first time. God gave you the strength to get back on your feet so you could have a second chance to live for Him. Let the past failures motivate you to serve God with everything you have.

Quote of the day: “A scar simply means you are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.”

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