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The heights by great men seized and kept

Did not occur by sudden flight.

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward through the night. -Longfellow

1. Endurance is a vital factor in the spiritual life. Heb 10:36 - "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised."

Heb 12:1,2 - "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus..."

2. Endurance can only be developed by pushing beyond our present limitations. Ro 5:3 - "We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance (endurance)."

Ja 1:3 - "Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance...."

3. Spiritual endurance involves patient waiting for the will of God to be fulfiled in us by the word of God. Ps 119:32 - "I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart." (Build endurance in me.)

Is 40:31 - "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

Heb 6:15 - "And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise..."

4. Endurance is the key to the abundant (not eternal) life. Jo 15:9 - "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide (endure) in My love."

Lk 21:19 - "By your endurance you will gain your lives."

5. Endurance is the key to eternal reward. 2 Tm 2:12 - "If we endure, we shall reign with Him."

6. Endurance is the result of keeping one's eyes on Jesus. Heb 12:1-3 - "Let us run with endurance...fixing our eyes on Jesus...who...endured the cross...for consider Him who has endured..."

Heb 11:27 - "By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen."

7. Consider a distance runner's perspective and apply it to the life of faith.

"People can't understand why a man runs. They don't see any sport in it, argue that it lacks the sight-thrill of body contact, the color of rough conflict. Yet the conflict is there, more raw and challenging that any man versus competition. In track it is a man against himself, the cruelest of all opponents. The other runners are not the real enemies. His adversary lies deep within him, in his ability, with brain and heart, to control and master himself and his emotions." -G.C.

-- (bygrace@thru.faith), August 15, 2000


dear mr. grace--please pray for me---i done fell in a ditch lately!! i feel like tellin everyone that has given me a hard time=to eat my shorts!!--your right about 1 thing--if i make=heaven it will be=grace & grace--alone!!!sinking in doo-doo=al-d.---ok. all you proper people=have at it!!----can i punch-out a few -then repent?? naw--bless em-all the long -the short-the tall! i gotta lay off-the guacamole'--it raises my b.-pressure!!

-- al-d. (dogs@zianet.com), August 15, 2000.

hey al - my prayers don't count any more than yours do, provided we're in fellowship with God (i.e. are eternally saved and have confessed our sins), though of course I'll continue to pray for you.

What do you mean, "If I make it?" Do you believe that the Lord (God) Jesus (man) Christ (God-man)is who He says He is, and that He alone is the way to heaven (Jo 14:6), and that no work (Eph 2:8,9 - baptism, joining a church, obey 10 commandments, being a "good person," trying really hard, etc...)of ourselves will get us there? Do you believe, "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures" - (1 Cor 15:3,4)? Belief in this is all that is required for salvation. It's salvation not probation, eternal not temporal - it's a one time deal to be saved eternally(Jo 3:16; Ro 3:24; Heb 5:9). If it weren't eternal, it would be of our own works, and hence - throwing God's grace out the window (Ro 11:6). Salvation is by God's grace alone (God's gift to us thru His son - the person and the work, the bread and the cup), thru our faith alone (belief of the above-reaching out with the hand of faith and accepting the gift) - and thru no work of ourselves. Believe to receive. Since faith is all that's required, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain. Jesus Christ is either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. We all get to choose. Nobody can choose for you. You choose to accept the gift and gain eternal life (heaven), or reject it and will face eternal death (hell). I pray we all choose to accept the gift. All that is required for salvation is a one time belief, with nothing to lose and everything to gain by honestly believing it.

-- (bygrace@thru.faith), August 15, 2000.

even=believers blow it!--the battle with=self! old-nature--vs.--new-nature!=LOST=FOCUS!!

-- al-d. (dogs@zianet.com), August 15, 2000.

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