This morning I woke up feeling like a champion. Of course the #5kMayhem was hard. That was the point. But it was also super fun. To all of you who finished it, I hope that you are super proud of yourselves, and amazed at how resilient the human body is.
God created the human body with an incredible strength and resiliency, and He gave us a unique drive and willpower to be able to accomplish incredible challenges that we set our hearts and minds to finishing.
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who finished the “5k Every Day in the Month of May 2020” challenge! I hope that it was an amazing adventure for you.
Daily Run: I had the privilege of filling in to lead worship this morning at New Creation Fellowship in Orrville, OH. After the service we came home to eat, and then it seemed right to take a Sunday afternoon nap, and finally Jodi and I got around to going out for our final 5k of #5kMay2020. It felt good to get out and get moving again. We ran 3.13 miles in 30 minutes and 28 seconds, which was an average pace of 9:38 per mile. Sadly, that left me with exactly 66.6 miles for the week. It also left Jodi with 49.9 miles for the week. Neither of us are happy with that, so we will likely put on our Garmin watches and go out for about a 1 mile walk later tonight. Haha.
Daily Bible Reading: It is amazing to see the transformation in the life of Peter. On the night that Jesus was betrayed, Peter said that he would follow Jesus, even if it meant he would follow Jesus to death (see Matthew 26:35). But, of course, when the soldiers showed up to arrest Jesus, Peter gave a wobbly swing of the sword towards the soldiers, cutting off a poor soldier’s ear (see John 18:10) and then he ran off. He followed the soldiers, with Jesus in tow, to Annas’s house, but he denied Jesus three times while trying to stand inconspicuously in the courtyard. Upon that third denial, Peter left the courthouse and wept bitterly (see Luke 22:62).
In John 21, we see Jesus restore Peter. Now here we are in the book of Acts, and Peter is a force to be reckoned with! Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter stands up and gives a convicting public sermon at Pentecost. As a result of his boldness, thousands give their lives to Christ that day! Next we see Peter, along with John, heal a man who was born lame. The man was asking for money.
But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.Acts 3:6–7, ESV
As a result of this healing, Peter immediately recognizes that he has an impromptu audience right there at Solomon’s Portico, so he once again boldly proclaims the gospel. This is a very different Peter than the one we saw in Annas’s courtyard! Thousands of people put their faith in Christ as Peter is speaking. This, of course, upsets the religious leaders of the day, so they arrested Peter and John.
After being questioned and threatened by the council, Peter and John are ultimately told to no longer speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”Acts 4:19–20, ESV
What boldness! I love it!
I truly hope that this 3 chapters per day Bible reading challenge has transformed us, as well. I hope that we are more confident in our faith, and more bold about sharing it. Perhaps someone put their faith in Christ for the first time through this challenge. Perhaps those who have been walking with Christ for years have had that gospel spark fanned into a flame throughout this challenge.
The gospel message is the greatest news ever told, which is hardly ever told. Let’s change that.
As I sit here writing this blog, American cities are literally burning to the ground primarily because the gospel message has not transformed hearts and minds in our communities.
Check out a few quotes from some people who understood the power of the gospel:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.-Jesus | Matthew 5:9, ESV
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.-Jesus | John 15:12, ESV
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.-Simon Peter | 1 Peter 3:9, ESV
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”-Apostle Paul | Romans 12:19, ESV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.-Apostle Paul | Romans 1:16, ESV
I am NOT ashamed of the gospel. Jesus truly is the ONLY hope for this broken world that God loves so much. That is why He came with this crystal clear G.O.S.P.E.L. message:
God created us to be with Him.
Our sins separate us from God.
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.
Life with Jesus starts now, and lasts forever!
Don’t miss out on that incredible free gift of eternal life, and please don’t selfishly keep it only for yourself, either. The world needs this message as much now as it ever has.