Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GRADUATE (08/01/19)
- TITLE: In Training
By Elaine Hemingway
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It starts when we realise that we are lost sinners and believe that Jesus Christ opened the door to eternity for us. When I started to grow in Christ, reading the Bible was an essential step for me. At first it was milk feeding as to a baby and I devoured devotionals that taught me assorted scriptures through the Old and New Testaments. I am still amazed that because I am an addictive reader, as I sought fresh knowledge I was distracted by many false teachers. I guess it’s like learning a new language but not recognising the differing phonetics and pronunciations. The Lord somehow allowed me to wander through strange pathways but always directed me back to truth. How grateful I am that He held me on a safety rope so when I fell into strange territory He hauled me back and set my feet on solid ground.
Truth triumphed as the basics soaked into my spirit. Jesus said, ‘I and my Father One’. He also said ‘No-one comes to the Father but by me’ and ‘He who believes in me will not die but have eternal life.’
How wonderfully encouraging that was and I made the commitment to read the whole Bible cover to cover. Since that time I have read through, each year, in different versions, the Scriptures that feed my soul and flow out in counselling, group studies and witnessing.
Lately, as years pass by and I realise the road here on earth will gradually run out and I will enter a new home where a mansion has been prepared for me, I look forward, albeit with some trepidation, to that graduation ceremony when I meet with Jesus, face to face.
Romans 5:1-5 promises, ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.’
Can I, like Paul, say, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’?
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12
I know I have failed my Lord many times and in many ways but have tried to keep short accounts and been blessed in the knowledge of forgiveness.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.’ 2Timothy 4:7, 8
That will be Graduation Day!
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