Embrace the Race

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, September 7, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #35 in Series 2020 and is titled “Embrace the Race”.

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A few years ago, I did a 5K with my daughter Gina, a seasoned runner. But this time, Gina walked the race in kind deference to her unseasoned mom, who is not a runner. 🙂

Doing this 5K together was a longstanding dream of ours. The day we accomplished this dream remains deeply engraved in my heart. 

The important thing about this race was not in what place we finished. In fact, because of me, we finished last. 🙂 The important thing was that we finished! 

Scripture tells us that each of us has been called to run a race. The Apostle Paul was keenly aware of this truth when, in Acts 20: 24, he says this: “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”

Is this the race you’re running? To complete the task the Lord Jesus has given you? 

All Christ-followers have been given the same task. This task is outlined in Mark 16: 15-18:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”


Embrace the Race!


Are you obeying our Lord’s great commission? Are you preaching the Gospel, the good news of God’s saving grace? Are you driving out demons, speaking in tongues? Are you laying hands on the sick to heal them? If not, you are not running your race. 

I urge you, therefore, to embrace the race to which our Lord has called you. That race looks different for each one of us in the sense that we all run the race in different ways. I, for example, run my race by fulfilling God’s call on my life to write and teach for Him. You may run your race by operating a business or rearing children. But no matter how we run our race, we all have opportunities to preach the Gospel, to cast out demons, and to heal the sick. That is our task, and the Lord expects us to accomplish it.

In Philippians 3: 14, Paul says this: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”                                                                     

Let us all be like Paul. Let us press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. Let us embrace our race and run it with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. If we do, we will one day hear our precious Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.” 

But maybe you haven’t even entered the race yet. Maybe you didn’t even know there is a race to run. If this describes you, then the place to begin your race is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I want to enter the race to which You have called me. I invite You into my life now. I receive You as my Savior and Lord. Help me to finish my race for Your glory, not my own. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your race for Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table

If you have been blessed by this blog and podcast, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. We now reach 26 countries all over the world. I could not do this without your help.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Now it’s your turn: Have you embraced your race? If not, what is holdiong you back? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you

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Embrace Your Race

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Do you know that you are running a race? I can hear you now: “Yes, I’m running a rat race, and I’m exhausted.”

LOL!  No, dear friend. You are running a race whose course has been set by God the Father. It is a personal race that defines the purpose and path for your life here on this earth. It is not a rat race. It is a life race—your unique life race—and the Father wants you to finish it.

But Satan does not!

In fact, Satan will do everything he can to keep you from running your race and, if not from running it, from finishing it. Why? Because Satan hates God and he hates you because you belong to God.

And it is this very truth that you belong to God that makes it so important that you finish your race.

Finish Line
So, a few critical questions arise:

  1. What is my personal race?
  2. How do I run it?
  3. How can I make sure I finish it?

Today, we’re going to answer these three questions.

First Question: What is my personal race?

Your personal race is the day-to-day life you live, with all of its annoyances, setbacks, trials, blessings, and joys. It is the specific purpose for which God created you. It is the specific location where He has placed you. It is the specific people with whom He has surrounded you.

Are you complaining about your life race? Are you ungrateful for the life God has given you? Are you discontented with your life and comparing it so someone else’s?  If so, you are not running your personal race to win. You are setting up obstacles in your own race that will keep you from finishing it well.

Second Question: How do I run my race?

How you run your race will make all the difference as to whether or not you finish your race. I have learned that the best place to run one’s race is not from a position of striving but from a position of rest.

You may ask, “How can I run my race while I’m resting?” Good question! Here is the answer: The position of rest is not a position of inaction. It is a position of trusting God completely for the outcome of your life and of your race while you run it.

Third Question: How can I make sure I finish my race? Here are four tips:

—1. Decide now that you will finish your race. Another way of saying this is: EMBRACE YOUR RACE!  Commitment to your race is half the battle.

—2. Pray daily for God’s help in running your race. You are not running your race alone. God is always at your side, encouraging you to keep on keeping on—straight to the finish line. Acknowledge that you need His strength to run and trust Him to help you finish your race.

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The position of rest is not a position of inaction. It is a position of trusting God completely for the outcome of your life and of your race.
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—3. Enjoy your race! God means for us to enjoy our lives. Despite the many setbacks that will surely try to hinder your race, keep your eye on the finish line. Seasoned runners know that running a race is not easy. Sometimes you grow weary and need a second wind. But that second wind can give you the final push to finish your race. If you need a second wind, ask Holy Spirit to blow His wind of love and strength upon you today. Let His wind lift you up as you focus your eyes on the finish line.

—4. Keep your eye on the finish line. What is the finish line? The finish line of your race is Jesus Christ! (Philippians 3: 14). He is your Prize and the reason you are running your race. When you keep your eyes on Him, every obstacle eventually falls away as you press forward toward Him.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Are you running our race in a manner pleasing to God? What obstacles have you encountered during your race? Please leave a comment in the box below.

TWEETABLE: “Embrace Your Race” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you!  You may also be interested in reading the following recent posts:

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daystar-devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.

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How to Win the Race of Life

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

Everyone loves a winner. But winning is a choice. The Bible has a lot to say about winning. But the goal of winning as found in the Bible is Christ Himself.

In 2 Timothy 4: 7, we find the Apostle Paul nearing the end of his life. As he looks back, he sums up his life in three activities that made his life a success. Here is what he wrote: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4: 7). As followers of Christ, we would do well to apply these activities to our own lives. Let’s take a look at each one :

Key to Success isolated on white1–Fight the good fight of faith. Throughout his life, Paul encountered situations that tested his faith. We encounter such situations ourselves on a daily basis. To fight the good fight of faith means to look to God’s Word as the final authority in every circumstance. The fight is called “good” because Jesus has already won it for us. As we trust Him, we cannot be defeated.

2–Determine to finish your race. A runner who does not finish the race has no chance of winning it. Only if he stays in the race does he have a chance to win. Stay in the race to win the prize of your high calling in Christ. Staying in the race is half the battle.

3–Endure to the end by keeping the faith. No matter what obstacles attempt to block us in our race, we must not allow those obstacles to make us quit. We must push through the obstacle, or go around it. We may have to go over it or under it. Whatever we have to do to get past the obstacle, we must do it by God’s grace. And we must always keep strong our hope in the Gospel of Christ.

There you have it. Three keys to a successful life as a Christ-Follower. All that remains is to use our keys and apply them to our lives.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts about Paul’s three keys to success?

TWEETABLE: “How to Win the Race of Life” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLCK TO TWEET)
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Daystar Devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.

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Running Your Race to Win

RUNNING YOUR RACE TO WIN

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Run to successIf you are a follower of Yeshua, you are in a race.  Your goal is to win the race, and your prize is God’s call upward to Heaven in Christ (Philippians 3:14).  In other words, you are running toward the eternal prize of salvation in Jesus Christ.

How is your race going? Are you strong and steady, or slow and shaky? Are you going full speed ahead, or are you running out of steam? Are you close to giving up, or have you already stopped running?

If you’re finding that your race seems overwhelming, here are a few tips to help you catch a second wind:

1) Ask Holy Spirit to fill you again. And again. And again. And again. To follow Jesus, we need a continual infilling of Holy Spirit’s power.  One drink from His well is not enough.  A runner needs water while running.  We need the living water of the Holy Spirit to replenish us while running our race.

2) Take time to worship the Lord. Worshiping God through singing, dancing, and quiet meditation will get your spiritual muscles working again. Worship is one of the best ways to renew your strength so that you can keep on running your race.

3) Pray in tongues. Scripture says that praying in tongues (also called praying in the spirit) builds up the one who is speaking in tongues (I Corinthians 14:4).  Speaking in tongues recharges your spiritual battery, giving it renewed power to continue your race.

4) Stay focused on your goal. Satan will send distractions in the form of trials and temptations to get you off track. Just when things are going well in your race, he will place an obstacle across your path.  Expect these distractions and prepare for them through prayer and fasting. Let nothing keep you from finishing your race.

5) Rely on the Lord to help you.  Our Lord is invested in your race. He is right there with you, encouraging you to finish.  Keep your eyes on Him.  If you do, you will finish your race and receive the crown of life that God promises to those who endure to the end (Matthew 24:13).

Are you running your race with Jesus as your goal? To help you do so, read YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! and discover how to compete for the only prize that matters: Jesus Christ!  You Were made for Greatness

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Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: