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Monday, July 10
Invoking God into our Week

The Apostle Paul’s next-generation disciple training moves into the call of gentleness with others. As we run our race marked out for us by God, we each face evil desires in our own way. Particularly this week we are focusing on helping others who are encountering alternate options and evil desires.

1 Corinthians 9:26

I do not run like a man running aimlessly...

We are nut just running because we are breathing, we run with purpose . So said the Apostle Paul, as an example and encouragement for us to do the same. In running, junk miles are those run with no identified goal for the workout. As Christians, the idea is to have our daily lives be purposeful as well, not simply piling one ‘junk’ day on top of another. So the question looms: What are you trying to accomplish as you move from day to day?


We step into this week celebrating You, Father, who has marked a race out for us;

We celebrate You, Jesus, who set a great example of running your own race for us; 

We celebrate You, Holy Spirit, who reveals the race as it unfolds for us;

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Tuesday, July 11
In the Word

Galatians 5:7

You were running a good race...

Here we have a warning about being careful with whom we run because we can be led astray – a.k.a. “running with the wrong crowd” – or as the old song decries, “keep away from-a runaround Sue”. Time and again, the world entices one with promises of fulfillment but leaves you with emptiness – not just in failure, but even in the face of success. When people who have been running down harmful paths realize their problem, they can really use a gentle soul to help rather than an “I-told-you” conclusion.

Lord, I want to run the race You marked out for me, not the one the world is trying to sell me on. I would like to be available to help others in running their race also. Help me to see people with eyes like you.


Wednesday, July 12

2 John 1:9


Anyone who runs ahead…

Normally, running ahead in a race is a good thing – unless you end up off course. This is John’s point when he writes “anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God”. Spiritual running is awesome; Spiritual running ahead of Christ: not so much.

Lord, when I run off course or get ahead of Your timing, gently pull me back; when You want to use me to help others who have run too far ahead, help me be gentle as well. I want to run Your path for me – in Your time!


Thursday, July 13

Jonah 1:10


The sailors knew Jonah was running away from the LORD.

Jonah bought a ticket to flee from God’s calling in his life, and the ship’s sailors knew it (he told them, see 1:10). As a form of help (for Jonah and themselves), the sailors tried prayer, throwing cargo overboard, and rowing to shore; but in the end, nothing the crew did helped Jonah in his ‘run’ from God and the big fish got him. God may not send a big fish to re-direct your path, but take it as a lesson: Let your energies be spent running toward God not away from Him. What in your life might constitute running away from God’s plan for you?

Lord when we encounter others running contrary to Your will, let our heart’s desire to help our fellow man be in line with Your will for them – and for us. And when we start living contrary in our personal lives, please send whatever size fish is necessary to get us back on track with you.


Friday, July 14

1 Samuel 3:5


... he (Samuel) ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

As a young boy, Samuel lived at the temple and late one night heard someone calling his name; assuming it was Eli the priest, the young man ran to find out what was needed. Three times this happened before Eli realized that it was God doing the calling and Samuel need not run at all, but simply reply: Speak, your servant listens (1 Sam 3:10). Like Samuel, maybe it is time to quit running in this case and simply listen; sometimes we don’t recognize the voice of God for what it is. This is where we can be of benefit to each others as we collectively run our races – side by side. Eli recognized the situation for what it really was and then gave great advice for Samuel to respond to God’s call.

Speak Lord, Your servant listens. And if I am missing Your voice, let me have an “Eli” in my world to point me in the right direction. The same goes for me being like Eli when needed for someone else. I live for Your glory; use me as You see fit. In Jesus’ name,


Saturday, July 15
The Saturday Set-Up for Worship

Philippians 2:16


I (Paul) did not run or labor for nothing...

After teaching that God is working in them (us!), Paul encourages the people to hold onto God’s Word, enabling him to say: I did not run or labor for nothing. Paul’s “run” was teaching God’s Word; he preached so people would know Jesus. For people to hear Jesus’ message, but not get to know Jesus would mean, in their case, that Paul ran for nothing. His appeal was for them to stay close to the Lord and His Word – to benefit from hearing the Word and doing what it says.

Lord, may I consider Your Word to be a life-saving device, and cling to it as such – and be like a wise man who does what it says. Build in me a desire to invest my life in others like Paul did, willing to spend my days laboring for You and Your kingdom.


Sunday, July 16
God's Blessing on His People

God Bless You

Hebrews 12:1


... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Spiritual “running” is rarely compared to a sprint; instead the analogy is to endurance events like a marathon. A marathon requires stamina both mentally and physically. Similarly, a Christian’s race is a test not just upon the soul spiritually, but also calls upon commitment from the body physically, the heart emotionally and the mind psychologically. That is why the Jewish term “shalom” is such an awesome blessing, because it is a bidding for peace in every facet of your life. May we bring that kind of blessing into life for and with others. How can you help someone else who is flagging in their marathon right now? Wish them some Shalom – in prayer!

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