June 03, 2019

Cheating on the Program

Devotion for the Week...

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Paul and I are using a training program for the Tely10, a 10 mile (16 km) running race in July. That week I was thinking about some of the really short, easy runs the program had set for me. These last couple of weeks, I've had longer and harder runs, which has felt great.

One afternoon I was running 30 second intervals, alternating between slow and really fast, with my watch beeping at me to tell me when to change speeds. I was a little amused at myself for obeying the beeping watch and I thought about how absurd that might seem to a non-runner. That started me thinking about how no one would ever know if I was obeying the watch or not. For the record, I'm really enjoying the training and not at all tempted to not obey the watch, but if I were tempted I could ignore it. I could go out for a run, spend the allotted time out jogging slowly, so people would see that I'm running regularly, without actually working to improve my endurance and speed. No one would really know, at least for a while.

And that led me to think about salvation.

There are plenty of people who think that being "good" will get them into heaven, but the Bible tells us "everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard" (Romans 3:23). None of us can avoid sin completely, no matter how good we try to be. Sin separates us from God, making it impossible for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven, and there's nothing we can do to rescue ourselves from it.

Thankfully, God knows this and provided a way to restore our relationship with Him. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. When we believe in Him as our Savior, then our relationship with God is restored and we can know that we will spend eternity with Him. "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). It really is that simple.

That doesn't mean people don't try to cheat on the program, though. Some think that if they just go to church they can continue to live the way they want, without ever really believing. They keep up the appearance of being a believer, without the actual believing part.

Maybe it's because their parents raised them in the church, but they never got around to making the faith their own. Or maybe their spouse is a believer and they go to church to keep the peace or so their friends will think they believe, too. Or maybe they want to be seen to be a "good person" and part of that picture includes attending church. Whatever the reason, if they don't truly believe in their heart that Jesus died and rose again, they're cheating on the program.

They're going through the motions and making it look like they're following the program, but they're not. In the end, though, cheating on the program. Just like I won't be able to run the Tely10 if I don't do my training, so people won't have their sins forgiven and their relationship with God restored if they don't believe in Jesus.
Have you declared that Jesus is Lord? | DevotedQuilter.com
Have you declared that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead? If so, YAY, your sins are forgiven! If not, there's no better time to accept Jesus as Savior.

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