Have you ever gone for a run…

…only to be sorely disappointed with just how out of shape you are. You get about 30 seconds into your run, and you’re sucking wind like Dog who has just chased a car down the road for a couple of miles. You didn’t even know your tongue was that long…

They called on God for strength and endurance.

[We have not ceased to pray for you to be] strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (Colossians 1:11 ; cf. Ephesians 3:16).

I’ll confess, I ain’t no runner. I really don’t think I ever will be. I remember when we used to have to run for football conditioning…it was not good. And even though I ran every day with the team, I never got to a spot where I could do it without losing my ability to breath. Of course, I have asthma, and endurance related activities have always been a challenge. Of course, the asthma makes it hard, but it doesn’t excuse me from getting in shape. But, it’s a pretty good excuse.

A lot of us have really good excuses for not getting into spiritual shape. We lead very busy lives. We work all day, come home to our family and barely have enough left to be of much use there. By the time we get the kids in bed, our best is behind us and we don’t have a prayer of praying a prayer. For some, you don’t have to work, but you’re so busy trying to make a name for yourself among friends or in the world.

Whatever our excuse, it’s not valid. I know that it seems like we may not have the time we wish we had to spend devoting ourselves to Christ like we should, but we really don’t have the time. The problem is, if we haven’t truly devoted ourselves to Christ, we don’t grasp how high and wide and deep and long is the love of Christ. And as long as we don’t devote ourselves, as long as we don’t truly surrender ourselves, we don’t know just how much we’re missing. It is through devotion that we begin to understand the length that Christ went to on our behalf.

So, I challenge you to devote yourselves to Christ in prayer, study and worship. Devote yourselves to community, discipleship and stewardship. It is only as we build up our faith through daily devotion and dedication to Christ that we will be building up the ability to endure the race we run.

My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. (James 1:2-4)

The Three for Morning, Afternoon and Evening.

“Now for Next” Prayer

What do we need to do now as a church to be ready for what God has for us next.

“What’s My Role” Prayer

Pray for God to show us the role we will play individually in accomplishing that mission.

The Conclusion

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.