On December 4, I will be running in my first marathon. That is, if all goes well in my training. But I am off to a good start.
I am running the White Rock Marathon in Dallas. Besides the personal pride and achievement associated with running 26.2 miles, I am also running because the main beneficiary of the proceeds from the White Rock go to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. My daughter, Joy, has gone to Scottish Rite since she was a year old and they have treated her for infantile scoliosis. I am hoping to raise at least $250 dollars for Scottish Rite. You can visit my fundraising page here: http://www.runtherock.com/donate/?kwoAdvocateId=3ZAZJX3
If you have been reading Christian Life Hacker for very long you will recognize that I make a lot of parallels between exercise and our spiritual life. Ever since I read Dallas Willard’s chapter on the body in his magnificent book, Renovation of the Heart, I have been fascinated by the body and it’s connection to the spiritual life and vice versa. So, once a week, on this blog, I will chronicle my marathon training and note any insights I have found regarding my spiritual life. I think that this goal will be both a physical, emotional, and spiritual test that God will play a key role in.
Wish me luck and please donate to Scottish Rite here.
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Listen to these words of Jesus taken from Revelation 22, the last chapter of the Bible:
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
“Yes, I am coming quickly.”
The great thing about the end times is that Jesus is coming back. One of the last sentences simply says, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Isn’t this what we really want? Everything about our faith is predicated on the coming of Jesus the first time. All of history turned with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus doesn’t come the first time, imagine what our world would be like? Then, imagine what our own life would be like?
Sometimes, Christians are so concerned about Jesus’ second coming that they forget that he came the first time. What we really want out of the end times is Jesus. He is the reason we even care about the end, He is the reason we have a hope and future, He is the reason we have life and life more abundantly.
Don’t overlook the person of Jesus and the wonder and greatness of his first coming. Oh, how we needed him to come the first time and oh how we need him to come again.
“Amen. Come Lord Jesus.”
Revelation 21 reminded me of why it is so beneficial to read through entire books of the Bible and not just sections here and there. This chapter is one of the most glorious in all of scripture but as I read it today it was more than just a great promise of things to come but was truly overwhelming beautiful. Why was I so taken by it? Because I had read the entire book up until this point and knew the process that God went through to get to this glorious arrival of the new Heaven and the new Earth. All of the battles, all of the plaques poured out, all of the rise and fall of evil not to mention the angels and the storms and natural disasters.
It is a poor, poor example, but I would have never appreciated the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA championship the way that I did if it wasn’t for their heartbreaking loss in 2006. In other words, I needed to know the full story and the history behind the team to see 2011 for the miraculous season it was.
In the same way, without reading all of Revelation, I would have no true sense of the power and might of our God. When the writer says, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it…” I have a fuller picture of what God’s glory is like.
When John wrote this letter to the seven churches, he didn’t expect his readers to read a couple of pages and then jump to Psalms. No, he expected them to read it all the way through. Only then, would they grasp the full scope of what he was telling them.
Since I had never read Revelation before, I am glad that I chose to start from chapter 1 and move forward. It has been worth it.