PEACEFUL

Have you noticed the world is becoming more “Me First”? It seems everywhere you go someone is trying to get ahead of you. Striving to get to the front can make for a stressful and worrisome existence. What is it that makes us think we deserve to be first? We can be at peace knowing that God has a plan and our place is prepared and secured. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Racing is built on being first, that’s the whole object. Finishing first on the race track is what we strive for, but being first is different. We race and compete to see the best driver come to the front. You earn your way to the front by racing. But some people think they deserve to be in front. We have to be careful when we think we deserve more than others, when we think more of ourselves that we ought to.

We see it all around us, people thinking they deserve to be first. Whether it is on the track, on the road, at the tollbooth, in the checkout line, just about anywhere we go, people think they deserve to be first. We all have our reasons, but what about those we take from to be first, do we consider their situation? Christ counseled us about thinking we deserve a place at the head table.

Luke 14:7-11, NLT; When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table!

“Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

What happens when we don’t get what we think we deserve? How do we feel when we are not treated the way we think we should be treated? What goes through our heart and mind when we start behaving like we are more important than we really are? All things that should make us think. Think about this, “It is better to be patient than have to start over.”

In a race it can be as simple as not clearing yourself; thinking you made a good enough attempt to pass and everyone should clear out of the way and let you in. Also, not driving through someone is a good choice. If you do you could find yourself starting over in the back. Your car could be damaged and your race is over. Many a car capable of winning the race, finishing first, didn’t have that chance because they thought they deserved a position they hadn’t attained.

I saw an example of this recently at the track. A car thought he had made a good enough attempt at a pass and moved into the oncoming car’s lane. A couple of problems with that was one the driver moving over hadn’t cleared the car he wanted to be in front of. Two, the car being moved into couldn’t lift as he had several cars behind him and would certainly cause a big wreck. The wreck happened because one driver thought he deserved a position he hadn’t achieved and assumed he would be given a pass. Sometimes there is justice for those who think they deserve to be first, he wrecked and his day was over.  

In life the same thing is true but the back of the field is a little different. We start over on our road to growing in our relationship with God. We take several steps back when we lose our humility. Life is about making progress toward enjoying the blessings God has for us and living the abundant life He promised. We are moving along that road. Then it happens, we think more of ourselves than we ought and our focus changes from external to internal. We become self-centered.

Colossians 3: 8-17; NLT; But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

When we are self-centered we view things differently. We get angry. We are motivated to retaliate. We show frustration and stress. We are not much fun to be around.

Is the peace of Christ dwelling in your heart? If it is, there won’t be any anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. You see they both don’t fit inside. When the frustration and anger that we hold onto is removed the peace of Christ remains.

We need to have our priorities right. We need to cut others some slack, some understanding. We will then remove the frustration and anger pent up inside. We will be at peace. Christ offers us a better place to live. We need to accept that.

We can go through life angry and frustrated with the world, or we can “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.”

We need to follow the example of Christ, who set aside His standing in Heaven and came to earth to sacrifice His life for us. Even though we were undeserving, He came and gave His life for us. The ultimate peacemaker, Christ made it possible for us to know God. Live in the peace He offers.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

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