The Qualifying Race

Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!

Have you ever been part of a club or team where you need to qualify for a particular, prestigious competition or race? Well I have, and it can be quite stressful. Let’s top up our coffees and check out where we stand in our qualifying race for Eternity…

Readings for Sunday, July 14: 5th Sunday after Pentecost

Leviticus (18:1–5) 19:9–18; Psalm 41; Colossians 1:1–14; Luke 10:25–37

…giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 

Colossians 1:12

I dragon boat and at most regattas, for particular races, like the 2km race, teams need to qualify for the race by having the best times in earlier races. Well, needless to say, all 20 teammates are mentally psyched to give it their all and paddle their best in order to qualify for the race-of-all races. Unfortunately, there are regattas where we do not qualify for such races. We are not good enough to be considered worthy to race in such races, and some teams seem to give up when they learn that their times will not qualify them for the ultimate race.

Isn’t it easy to look at our life of faith and our qualifying for our heavenly home in the same way? Don’t we at times get caught up in striving for heaven as if we are qualified by our acts of love and ability to keep God’s laws? Some people are confused of their salvation because they’re not sure if their ‘times’ are good enough to qualify, or simply, if they are good enough to qualify. Well, in such thinking, let me tell you that you will never qualify, I will never qualify, to be considered worthy of life eternal.

However, at some regattas, the ultimate 2km race is open to every team, and every team member qualifies for this prestigious race. In such circumstances, I have found that our team continues to strive to do their best in preparation for the big race. Each race leading up to it is just a stepping stone in getting you ready for this give-it-all-you-got 10 minute challenge, and just making it over the finish line is what matters.

In the same way, in Christ, and only in Christ, are we qualified for life eternal. Thanks be to God, our heavenly Father, for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14) There is no qualifying race because those participating in Jesus’ regatta are considered qualified already.  As a result, we can look forward to each day as a race which is preparing us for the ultimate goal. We do not need to worry about if we did well enough or compare ourselves to others. We simply get to stay focussed on the finish line and strive to give our personal best as Christ coaches us to the end. In Christ you are already qualified!

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help me to always remember that in Jesus, the Son you love, you have qualified me for life eternal. Help me not to get caught up in comparing myself with others or letting the burden of my sin keep me from you. Please forgive me all my sins and wash me clean as only Jesus can. In His name I pray. AMEN!

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