My dad is a runner. I have many fond memories of spending Saturday mornings cheering for Dad as he ran local 5K and 10K road races. His first marathon was particularly big. Dad had been training for months but finally the weekend came. Our family traveled with him to Nashville to cheer him on.
We chose different spots along the course to cheer. At the first mile, all the runners were enthusiastically smiling as they passed us. But farther down the race, many of the runners looked a lot less cheerful. By mile 20, the runner’s faces showed nothing but sheer DETERMINATION, which is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you’ve started.As runners crossed the finish line, their faces reflected the pride in having gone the distance.
Our lives are like a big Amazing Race, and when we practice determination, we can be the one who goes the distance and finishes strong.
The monthly memory verse is: “Let us keep on running the race marked out for us,”Hebrew 12:1b, NIrV. When God asks us to do something, He’s often guiding us step-by-step in a certain direction that we may not even see or realize. Our determination to be the one who follows God leads us closer to the good things He has in store for us!
In Week One’s Bible story, God tells Noah to build an ark (Genesis 6:5-22). It took him years, but Noah was determined to make the wise choice and follow God no matter how long it took! Our Bottom Line is: Be the one who keeps doing what’s right. Since we trust that God is in control, we are motivated to keep doing what we know is the right thing.
In Week Two, our Bible story tells when God met Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-12). Moses gained the determination he needed to lead God’s people out of slavery because he trusted our powerful God. So when He asks us to do something, we can know He will give us the strength to see it through and be with us through the journey. Our Bottom Line is: Be the one who does what God says because He’s AWE-some.
In Week Three, our Bible story shows how Ruth is determined to stick by Naomi during the very hardest times (Book of Ruth). Ruth didn’t want Naomi to feel alone and overwhelmed with how her life turned out. Our Bottom Line is: Be the one who sticks by someone in need. Sometimes when we decide to help someone, it gets harder than we expected it would. But we should be determined to help however long and in whatever way is needed.
In Week Four, Colossians 3:23-24 helps us understand the principle of work. As we work, we can be determined to finish the job right, and with a good attitude, because we know we’re always serving God. This week our Bottom Line is: Be the one who works hard, because God sees your heart. God pays attention to all the work that we do, even the smallest things. And it really pleases Him when we do those things with a good attitude!
When you put your faith in God, He’ll give you the strength you need to keep doing what you should do—even when it’s hard and even when others give up. Because when you have the determination to finish what you’ve started, you won’t miss out on the good things God has in store for you.
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By Jessica McKee ©2012 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. http://www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.