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This weekend, thousands are competing in the 2018 Manchester Marathon. Those running are impressive athletes, having followed strict diets and disciplined training, so that on the day they can run to the best of their ability. Come the big day there is a need to get the mind right, ensuring that the drive and commitment is there to complete the race with a real focus on the finishing line. We watch with real admiration those who compete.

“ Your Race to Life ”

These thoughts lead us on to a similar challenge that God has given for us to take up. He has asked us to run a race too, but not a literal race. Instead he has challenged us to run “Your Race to Life”.

The race is, in fact, a way of life. It is a metaphor for the journey that we can take through life to God’s Kingdom. This way of life is revealed to us in the Bible, God’s only message for mankind. It is not a sprint but, like the race in Manchester this weekend, it is like a marathon - it lasts your entire life. And the prize is not a medal, a time on a piece of paper or even a cash reward. Even more amazingly, the prize that we have all been offered is eternal life in the Kingdom of God on earth, with the Lord Jesus Christ as King.

Many people have embarked upon this marathon already and we want to invite you to take part too so you can run the race alongside us. So let’s consider this “spiritual race” a bit further. What lessons can we draw from the athletes’ preparation?

Diet – this is the word of God, the Bible, which if we “eat” daily will give us the right spiritual food. In other words, if we read from it every day it will give our minds all the nourishment that they need.

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” John 6:35

Exercise – we need to exercise our minds and lives daily in the ways of God. Not only do we have to read the Bible, we have to put God’s words into action and let them influence us.

“Rather, train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” 1 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

Commitment - This way of life is not something to be taken lightly; it requires real dedication and commitment. There are ups and downs along the way, but all our efforts will be worth it when God gives us our reward.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self- control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly ... But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Running the Race – We need to get rid of things in our lives that will prevent us running this race effectively. We need to cut out the “spiritual junk food” and make sure that we aren’t carrying any unnecessary burdens that will make the race so much harder. The best thing that we can do is look at the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has already run the race perfectly.

“let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:1-3

We would love to help you explore the exciting challenge of the Gospel. Please come along and visit us at the Christadelphian Hall on 206 Marsland Road, Sale, M33 3NE.

The Manchester Marathon is happening this coming weekend on 8th April and the route runs right past our hall on Marsland Road in Sale!

Running a marathon is an impressive undertaking and in order to lend a hand, we’re going to be passing out cups of water to the runners as they pass by our hall.

We’re also going to be holding an open day at our hall where you can come in and take a look round, have a chat and see what we do.

There will be goody bags for kids and we’re also providing free face painting as well!

So if you’re passing by and would like to drop in, then please feel free to do so - we’d love to see you.

Whilst running a marathon is an admirable feat, that requires lots of training and preparation, there can only ever be one winner. There is another race that is open to anyone, where the prize is beyond anything we could imagine - but where everyone who enters can win.

This race is more than just 26.2 miles on a road…this is your race to life.