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Running For Nothing

As my friend Roger Weber started the 2006 Chicago Marathon, he noticed something on the ground. It was a runner’s chip—the device each runner puts on his or her shoe to record progress at various timing stations during the race. Apparently, one poor runner would be traversing the next 26.2 miles on foot with nothing to show for it.

Officially, that runner did not run the race. There would be no record of his participation. Even if he had finished the race in record time, it wouldn’t have mattered. The folks who organize the race set the rules, and no matter how well someone runs, if the officials say the runner doesn’t qualify, that’s the way it is.

In one sense, that’s also the way it is with all of us. We can run what appears to be a good race by doing good things for others and obeying lots of rules. But when we arrive at the final checkpoint—heaven—and haven’t made sure our name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life by putting our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we’re disqualified to enter.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Are you trusting in Jesus? If not, you’re running for nothing.

It’s not what I achieve that qualifies,
It matters not if I gain wealth or fame;
The only thing I must be certain of
Is “Have I put my trust in Jesus’ name?”  —Hess

If we could earn our salvation, Christ would not have died to provide it.