The great race for people of God
A race is a competitive event involving people with the aim of winning crown(s) upon emerging as a winner. The ultimate purpose of engaging in any type of race is to win and earn a crown or any other prize at the end. In the world of sports, there are many races, ranging from track events of running distances between 100 metres to marathon. There are bicycles and motorbike races. All these carnal races are for physical exercises, aimed at developing and strengthening the body. Any crown or prize one is awarded for successes in these worldly races ends here on earth.
There is a race in which the gains and successes last beyond this planet earth. It is the heavenly race meant for the people of God or better stated, the people who have chosen to serve God, having recognised that He is their Creator and that we will eventually return to Him at the end of this earthly life. The race is, indeed, great to them and they are determined to succeed in this race. That is why the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 9:24-27, “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
The scripture above is clear in differentiating between worldly and heavenly races. For the heavenly race where the people of God, the born again Christians are engaged, the crowns obtainable are incorruptible; hence lasting beyond this earth. On the other hand, the prizes of the worldly races end here on earth. It is on this backdrop that Apostle Paul took this Christian race very seriously with the view of winning, which is meeting with his Creator in heaven at the end of his earthly life. He subjected his body to self-control, ensuring that he did not run against the rules of engagement, so that while his converts make heaven he, himself the preacher would also make heaven and meet his spiritual sons and daughters in heaven. In the lead scripture above, the standard for the race is set. This is seeking God first and living a righteous life, then God Himself will add the rest, including the things of this life on earth and the crown of life after giving us eternal life in heaven. The race is highly spiritual; hence faithfulness, holiness, and righteousness are the stock in trade that must be made manifest in the life and character of every participant.
In Hebrews 4:1-4 the Bible says, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” We should be careful to keep all the rules of the race and be faithful to God’s promises, so that we will not fall by the wayside and fail to enter into heaven by failing to complete the race. God has prepared a place for our reward from the foundation of the world, and we only need faith and determination to run the race successfully. The success of this great race is determined by the level of faith the participant attaches to the purpose of the race, which is meeting with the Creator. God Himself is the Owner of the race. He rewards all the winners with golden crowns as they enter into His rest in heaven. Great importance is, therefore, attached to the race. In the race, we are to be faithful to God by living our life according to His Will; doing His work with the best of our ability and believing we will enter heaven at last.
In Matthew 24:12-14 the Bible says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” In the course of this great race, challenges are bound to come. Many will fall by the wayside, because of the inability to continue, but as many that will be strong in their faith to continue to the end will be saved. We are encouraged to faithfully determine to run the race to the end. No doubt, obstacles will come up along the way, temptations will come but with faith in God, we will overcome every opposition and make it to heaven, in Jesus name… Amen.
Whatever will constitute a hindrance to the success of the race will be removed. That is why the Bible advises in Mark 9:43 saying, “And if thy hand offends thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.” The race is a lifetime one without the opportunity of a second chance. Hence, anything that will mar the race should be cut off. There is no profit if one loses his life. For the Christians already in the race, they should strengthen their faith to ensure that nothing derails them from the Love and faith in God. They should be determined to make it to heaven at last. The people who are yet to identify with Jesus Christ should repent, accept Him as their Lord and Saviour, purge themselves of all sins and begin to live holy and righteous life. Through these decisions, they will make heaven at the end of this life in Jesus name.
Testimony Of The Lord’s Doing
Do The Will Of God And Prosper
MY name is Brother Chibuike Okude. I live in Benin and I thank God for making me a Chosen. I joined Chosen in 2010 and at a time, I went back. I wasn’t genuinely committed anymore and the enemy saw it as an opportunity and struck me. I was working with Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), but I had an issue with them and was consequently laid off in 2019. As a result of this, things became very difficult.
I decided to apply for Australian study visa, but was rejected. At that point, I knew the reason for my problems, which was because I was not divinely connected. So, I came back to Chosen and started living right again, attending vigils and going out to preach. It got to a point during the lockdown, while I was waiting for my visa approval that things became very difficult. So, l used my car to make a living. God was so merciful and I was making money from the Bolt business with my car. Eventually, the car developed issues, as I started receiving attacks. I told my pastor and he prayed for me. During the crusade: “God Has Sworn To Bless You” in Lagos, I had to sell my car to get money to attend the crusade. At the programme, our General Pastor called for a pledge and I sowed a seed of faith. I prayed and told God all that I wanted was a visa. After the crusade, I received a call from my previous company that laid me off.
They asked if I would accept a job if given to me. I answered in the affirmative and they asked me to send my C.V and other credentials, which I did. I went to Port Harcourt for medicals and they said that I would go for a 15-day course. I told my pastor and he prayed for me before going for the course. Through God’s mercy, I passed the course. I went for the three-week COVID-19 isolation in Port Harcourt in a hotel and I had a dream where God gave me victory over a pussycat attack. After the isolation, I went back to work and thought that they would retain me in my former position, but I was promoted and my monthly salary is N1.3m, the good part is that it is paid in dollars. My heart is filled with joy. I thank God for this miracle. May His name be exalted forever in Jesus name.
I pray for our General Pastor and his family, Chosen pastors, leaders, workers, heaven at last in Jesus name.
Praise the Lord!
Brother Chibuike Okude, Benin City, Edo State.