by Lenny Ports

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Lenny Ports
Hebrews 12:1-4

Tom Landry stated, ''The will to reach your goal is the most important quality of all champions.''

Did you ever hear of the first Olympic marathon runner? His name was Pheidippedes (Fi-dp-a-dees).

ILLUS: The year was 490 B.C. On the plains near the small town of Marathon, the ancient Greeks met the invading Persian army in battle. If the Persians won, the Greek Empire would topple.

Against all possible odds, the Greeks charged into the Persian camp, caught their enemy by surprise, defeated the Persians, and saved the Greek Empire. A Greek solder, Pheidippedes, was dispatched to run to army headquarters in Athens, 22 miles away, with the good news. With determination and resolve, he ran all night long from Marathon to Athens.
Pheidippedes became a Greek hero, a symbol of determination and endurance. As a tribute to this faithful soldier who ran so bravely through the night, the marathon race was born.

In the same way Pheidippedes was consumed with the determination to reach his goal at Athens, believers in Christ must be consumed with the passion to serve Him to the very end-the goal of our lives.

James 1:12, NIV says; ''Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.'' What are the things that threaten to stop us? Usually petty things, peripheral issues, hurt feelings, misunderstandings.

Endurance is the key. Sticking with it over the long haul. God is not interested in the 100-meter dash. He wants you to run the marathon and make it!

ILLUS: In the 1986 New York City Marathon, almost 20,000 runners entered the race. What is memorable is not who won, but who finished last. His name was Bob Wieland. He finished 19,413th-dead last. Bob completed the New York marathon in 4 days, 2 hours, 47 minutes, and 17 seconds. It was unquestionably the slowest marathon in history-eve ...

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