Living A Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…”Run Well, Finish Well”

This is the final post in a 9-part series I’ve been sending out every Friday,  relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (only 1 weeks to go for Christchurch, 2 for Auckland!!!). Here goes with the ninth and final post…

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Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…

“Run Well, Finish Well”.

In the last post, we talked about the importance of being able to say ‘no’ to certain things, because we have said ‘yes’ to the more important things. The purpose of writing this series of posts, has been to help us experience more of a grace-paced life, than we may currently be experiencing in this crazy-paced world. In this final post, we will look at the encouraging truth, that this kind of living is not something we have to try and get, rather it is something we already have, in Christ.Let us consider the main text that this theme is centred around – Hebrews 12:1-3…

1 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, 2 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. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. – Hebrews 12:1-3 NKJV

Preventative Measures

As we consider the truth of God’s Word in this passage, we can read it forwards in a way that is preventative, and we can read it backward in a way that is restorative. Let me explain.

If we take God at His Word, and recognise that just like the many saints of old who have gone before us, we too can run well and finish well in our race of faith – then we will be careful to lay aside the weight (not bad stuff, but hinders us from running well), and the sin (bad stuff because it disobeys God’s Word) that slows us down and cripples us from running with endurance.

We will make Jesus our goal, looking to Him, and centering our lives around Him. We will acknowledge His sovereignty over all things, and accept even suffering, trials, and hardship as His will for our lives.

We will also be diligent to intentionally, and consistently, consider Him, reminding ourselves of gospel truth over and over – knowing deep down that our worth, peace, contentment and joy does not come from what we do, but from what He has done.

Living this way, we will avoid weariness and discouragement. But more than this, our Christ-centred perspective, will direct our priorities, and we will be productive and effective in God’s kingdom.

Restorative Measures

However – if we are already overwhelmed by, or on the way to a season of weariness and discouragement, then we go backward through these verses and find the only answer that can help us to get back to where we need to be.

First, we must take the time to consider Him. If Christ’s finished work upon the cross is far from our hearts and minds, we will never truly overcome weariness and discouragement. This is because much stress is created in our lives, from trying to live the Christian life in our own strength – it can’t be done.

Next, we make it our aim to look to Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. Worry and anxiety wear us down, when we forgot this, and allow ourselves to feel like helpless victims of circumstances we have no control over. Knowing, and trusting that Christ is Lord of all, all the time, brings us to that place of peace, even in difficult times.

Finally, if we are still struggling in our lives to run with endurance, and to keep our pace up in the race of faith – it will nearly always be a result of either sin, weight, or both that is hindering us and slowing us down. Be willing to confess sin, remembering the hope we have in the gospel, and be willing to lay aside weights – anything that is not helping you to run.

…much stress is created in our lives, from trying to live the Christian life in our own strength – it can’t be done.

You Can Live a Grace-Paced Life

At the risk of sounding too simplistic, I just want to leave you pondering on the truth of these verses, and encourage you that you can live a grace-paced life in this crazy-paced world because of Christin Christ, and for Christ. 

He has already given you everything you need.

You will be busy, but busy with a purpose, and busy with a peace that you begin your days with, instead of frantically trying to achieve it by everything you cram in.

Less really is more. Less weight and less sin, more endurance and more glory to God from the way that you live.

So now, run well, and finish well by understanding, embracing and devoting yourself to God’s priorities, and as you do, enjoy the life, and the people He has blessed you with – not crazy-paced, but grace-paced. 

For thought, prayer and application: Something that often prevents people from making progress in their walk with the Lord, is not taking the time to stop and take action on whatever it is that needs to be done. Why not set aside an evening, to prayerfully consider, reflect, and act upon the content we have covered in this series. If you are coming to ENGAGE 2017 we will be giving you lots of practical help, in how you can run your race of faith well, be less distracted, and more effective as a follower of Christ in this world. At the end of the day, it’s not about us – it’s about the glory of God. However, the blessing we get to experience is that when we put God and His ways first, it is always best for our lives too. It’s not always easy, but as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego found out – it’s better to be in the fiery furnace with the Lord, than outside without Him!

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Try This With The Kids….


Here is a great opportunity to sharpen the discernment of your children, and provoke some great discussion…

Watch the short video clip below with your family (or just some of your children) and see what they can pick up from it. Before you start, brief them that this is a USA presidential candidate, and how it is far more common in the States (than here in NZ) for most people to call themselves “Christian”. Ask the children to decide whether they think the man in the clip (Donald Trump) gives answers to the questions that would indicate he is a true believer or not.

This can lead into a great discussion about what makes someone a Christian (repentance and faith, as a result of God’s work of regeneration) and why the true gospel must be preached. It could also lead to a time of asking your children where they are currently at in regard to the gospel? Perhaps ask the Christian all the things Mr Trump lists as proof of his faith, and compare that to what Scripture teaches. If you have time, let me know how it goes I would love to hear about it!

Don’t cheat and read it yet, but below the video there is a list of the things that Mr Trump gives as proof he is a “Christian” – you may pick up on others I missed.

Proofs given by Mr Trump that he is a Christian….

  • He is a religious person
  • He is Protestant
  • He is a Presbyterian
  • He prays
  • He goes to church
  • He loves God
  • He takes communion
  • He has made good business deals
  • He owns lots of property
  • God has helped him in life and business

Compare to:

[Act 2:37-38 NKJV] 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Disclaimer #1 – I am not making a political point here, it’s just a great video to highlight what it is that does/doesn’t make someone a believer.
  • Disclaimer #2 – I am not saying that we can always, or should always determine/decide if a person is a believer or not by what they say – but God does call us to judge fruit, and truth, and make it clear what does/doesn’t reflect saving faith.