Still Running

How are the New Year’s resolutions coming along?  Did you happen to set a resolution to exercise?  If so, are you still walking, running, or working out at the gym?  Well, I am not a runner anymore, at least not in the physical sense.  I am more so focused on my spiritual running.  I am taking note of where I am right now and how I can keep pressing forward.  And as I look around at others, it seems like spiritual running is the needed conversation. 

So, I will begin the conversation with a question, and as I ask you, I am asking myself: Are you still running?

What type of running, you ask?  Running—in your heart, mind, and soul.

Are you still running from God?  Is your heart closed off to Him?  Is your mind resisting Him?  Is your soul cut off from Him?

Have you heard Him call for you? He wants to love you and save your soul. Have you let Him do this?  We cannot save our own souls by doing good deeds, following religious rituals, or sitting in a church pew every weekend.  Only our belief in Jesus’s atonement and the acceptance of His forgiveness can save our souls.  We just need to ask Him for this salvation.  He is drawing us to Himself with an everlasting love.

Have you heard Him ask you to do something?  Are you stuck running in place or even running away from what it is, perhaps because you are afraid, disinterested, or not in agreement with what it is?  

Are you still running from your past? From the need to forgive or to be forgiven?  

Are you still running the race of faith?  Did you ask Jesus to be your Savior at some point but have since slowed to a walk or even left the course?  Have you run off to find fulfillment in other things?  These days are very difficult.  They are full of many challenges, myriad distractions, and much pain.  But let us lay aside the weight and the sin that so easily besets us, and let us run the race with patience.1  Let us endure.

Don’t quit.  Don’t abandon God.  Keep on keeping on.  Run in such a way that you may win the prize.2  Jesus finished His course, and this completion purchased salvation for all who would accept it.  Your course has an important purpose as well. 

May our dying breaths find us still running the race of faith and then running toward His open arms.


But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.3

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.4


NOTES

1 See Hebrews 11:1.

2 See 1 Corinthians 9:24.

3 Isaiah 40:31

4 Hebrews 11:1–2

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

©Text and photo Francee Strain, February 6, 2022

Languishing in Limbo or Living in Liberty?

Are you languishing in limbo or living in liberty?  I am seeing and hearing so much pain and anger in people’s lives and voices.  I see people bowed down, hunched over, listless, and joyless.  Disappointed, disillusioned, and distressed.  Clenched and cocked and flinging words and punches.  This is not how things are supposed to be.  Let’s do a heart check.

The Bible tells us that heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop, but a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25 KJV).  This is so true.  So, here is a good word for you today: Jesus loves you! 

There is life, joy, hope, and peace available to all who ask Him for it.  In the midst of dark, dreary, and drudging days, there is light.  He is the Light of the World. 

Look up, my friends. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”* 

©Text and photo by Francee Strain, October 10, 2020

*Quotation taken from the song “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen Howarth Lemmel.

The Heart of the Matter

The Heart of the Matter blog June 2020

Have you done a heart check lately?

Does your heart belong to Jesus?

Does your heart love like Jesus?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

 “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b NKJV)

 

©Original text and photo Francee Strain, June 7, 2020
Scripture verses taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1994.