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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

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Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

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Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

"RUN YOUR OWN RACE"

VIDEO LINKS TO SERMON BELOW



RUN YOUR OWN RACE    
by Pastor Mark Taylor
“When the time was come that He should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51)
God has given each of us a race to run and a purpose to fulfill.  Our Heavenly Father and many others in Heaven are watching us run this race.  “Wherefore seeing we also are watch by a great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sins which do so easily overpower us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1)
God had a plan for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  That plan was to die on the cross for you and I and the world.  Jesus knew that this was an unusual and difficult mission the Heavenly Father had given Him, but He was determined to “run His own race”.  Speaking of the crucifixion, He said:  “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.” (John 12:32).  He was not only running this race for Himself, but for you and I.
Many of His disciples and friends tried to talk Him out of “running His own race”.  “Then Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him, saying Be it far from you, Lord, this shall not be done unto you.” (Matthew 16:22).  The Lord’s response to someone He loved who was trying to tell Him to quit His race was:  “Get you behind me, Satan: you are an disgrace unto Me: for you do not choose the things that be of God, but those that are of men.” (Matthew 16:23).
God has called you and I to run to “run our own race” called the Christian Life.  Each of us is different.  God loves variety.  It is ok to be you. You were created to be you. He went to great lengths to make sure that each of us is an original.  Don’t compare yourself to other people; learn to be happy with who God made you to be.  We should always try to be better people and have positive role models in our life.  We should strive to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ.  But we will never be the Lord Jesus, or like anyone else, because God the Father has made you different than anyone else.  Our race is different than others.  Our purpose and mission in life is one that God has given to us..  With the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can find that purpose.  There are times we need Godly counsel, but sometimes you can get too much advice from others.  If you are not careful, conflicting opinions will simply cause confusion.  We don’t need to be getting advice from people who can’t even run their own lives, but are willing to tell you how to run yours.
The reason people are discontented today is because they compare themselves with other people.
The “race” the Father has given you to run is unique to your personality and your gifts and abilities.  God has an individual plan for each of our lives.  You can run your own race and be an individual.  You are not in a contest that requires you to compare yourselves with anyone else.  “Examine yourselves, to decide whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves.  Do you not know your own selves whether the Lord Jesus is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).  If you have the Lord Jesus in you, then you have the Holy Spirit in you, and God the Father in you.  With these three, you don’t need to compare who you are with anyone else.  
You are a child of God and and the “race” He has for you to run is your own race. There are people running with you.  Some are behind you and some are ahead of you.  Some have just started, and some have quit.  It really doesn’t matter what others are doing as far as your race is concerned.  If we have our eyes on other people, we will get discouraged and even quit.  We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and He will give us the strength to keep on running.  No one else can run it for you, and you cannot run anyone else’s race for them.
How was the Lord Jesus able to “run His race” even though He knew it would be difficult?
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith: Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross; despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2).  He was willing to “run His race” because He knew that there would be a resurrection after the cross.
While you are “running your race” you need to focus on the victory at the end of the race.  Unlike team sports, this is your race.  If you finish, it will be up to you.  If you quit, it will be up to you.  You will receive the rewards and approval from your Heavenly Father at the end of the race.  Not only will you become a citizen of Heaven and receive all the things He has prepared for you, but you will hear Him personally say something like this to you:  “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23).
Are you being the person God made you to be?  Or are you just going around pretending and trying to be what everybody else wants you to be.  Are you trying to live up to the expectations of others and following their dreams for your life?  If you are, missing the creative purpose God has put into you to have a happy and fulfilled life.  Don’t be afraid to take a risk in trying something new that God has given you the ability to accomplish.  Don’t be afraid to ask God to give you both the desire and resources to accomplish the things He has put into your heart to do.  God has said this to all of us:  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a good future.  When you call upon Me and you shall go and pray unto Me, and I will listen to you.  And you shall seek Me, and find me, when you shall search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
See yourself as God sees you - as a winner, and overcomer.   You will never rise above the image you have of yourself in your own mind.  As long as you say “I can’t”, you won’t.   Don’t focus on your weaknesses; focus on your God.  God loves to use ordinary people just like you and me, faults and all, to do extraordinary things.  “I take pleasure in difficulties, in criticisms, in lack of resources, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 10).  You have a great resource to call upon as you “run your race”.

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