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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Missouri hay
Scenic farm view in Southern Missouri near the college Brooksyne and I attended.
(click on photo to enlarge)

"Running Well"

Message summary: May the Lord help us all to continue to run well and one day be able to declare like Paul "I have finished the race". If any of you realize you were running well but have gotten off course identify what is hindering you and get back on the right course!

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" (Galatians 5:7).

One of the common burdens we hear in our chaplain work is a parent's heartache regarding wayward children, which of course also includes grown children. Earlier this week I was talking to a man whose grown son has had a longstanding addiction battle. He told me he's back in rehab, yet again. At various times during our discussions he had been doing better which was so encouraging to his hopeful parents.

In my observation there are often a lot of ups and downs in fighting and overcoming addictions to alcohol, tobacco and drugs. That's why we encourage people to avoid using any substance that provides a "high" (what a word!), since you don't know what substance may in due time ensnare you.
In our lifetime many in the church have developed a more permissive attitude on matters concerning the "moderate" use of alcohol and now marijuana, especially since in many cases recreational marijuana is now legal. Being legal does not make something moral or advisable.

But we have no regrets in practicing and teaching abstinence from these three substances, however old-fashioned that may be. After 40 plus years of ministry and both coming from families with alcoholic relatives we've chosen not to dabble in intoxicating drinks or drugs. We have seen much ruin over the years and have never seen them make someone a better person.

In many years of writing these messages we have often referred to a Biblical illustration of living the Christian life as "running the race". In fact just this last May we had a five part series on this topic beginning with this message.

Today let us consider a text from Galatians 5 in which Paul also alludes to running.

"You were running well." We have often considered the start, the course and the finish but today's passage speaks of the race with a sad four letter indictment: "You were running well." What especially jumps out is the word "were", the past tense. They had been running well which implies they had been doing well in matters of faith and obedience. The specific issue here is a doctrinal matter in that they had fallen for a false doctrine. We know people who were running well but fell for a false doctrine contrary to the Holy Scriptures.

But we have also seen those who were running well but fell in regard to obedience such as a moral failure. As I type these words several people come to mind, some who have repented and got back to running well, although often still dealing with sin's inevitable consequences. Sadly, others remain out of the race.

"Who hindered you from obeying the truth?" In the next verse he states, "This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you." In this context Paul is speaking of specific false teachers and the devil himself. We all need to be on our guard against anything that would hinder us from obeying the truth including the false teachers of our age and our adversary, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

May the Lord help us all to continue to run well and one day be able to declare like Paul, "I have finished the race". If any of you realize you were running well but have gotten off course identify what is hindering you and get back on the right course!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, we learn throughout Scripture that it's not the one who runs the swiftest, nor the one who runs for a day, but the one who endures to the end that will be saved. Even for those who endure there may be a fall along the way, yet the Psalmist assures us that they are not cast down for You uphold them with Your righteous right hand. You never let them of Your sight, but watch over them and gently woo them back through the working of Your Holy Spirit. Keep our eyes on the goal of living for Christ and our feet planted firmly on the righteous path before us in His name we pray. Amen.

Ecclesiastes 9:11

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Yes I Will"  Video  Calvary Church worship team with strings (I tried to post this earlier this week but the link broke)  One again we devote this to our friends going through valleys.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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