Examining Biblical Scripture



I have no idea what 2017 has in store for us. But I felt deep within me as we approached the end of  December that this next year was going to be like none other before in my lifetime.

So, my thought and advice for us all is to live as though this is our last year of opportunity. Our last year to minister, our last year to witness, our last year to prepare, plan, propose and promote what is vital to us.

This is the Time to fulfil the Call of God on our lives. Let’s be deliberate, determined to arrive to our destiny. Let’s pray: seek, ask, follow His plan by obeying His prompts and focusing on the path He places before us. Let us run.

Jesus is the reason for our lives. So Jesus needs to be at the centre of our planning.

My prayer, for myself is a total clarity of focus and mission. I have books to write, blogs to post, news and views to share… But all of that is meaningless without an awareness of the prescribed direction, knowing what is most important to fulfil my purpose at this Time.

I have several priorities. It has always been difficult for me to decide which are the most important and usually have become caught up in the urgent instead of the essential. So my prayer is that this year I will not. This year, may I – and you – be caught up and taken forward in what is the main purpose to our being on this planet at this time.

We need to discern this. And then to act upon it.

To begin, let’s pray. Then let’s each brainstorm our desires and must do’s. Then we’ll pray again, to build on what’s key and lay aside all else. Let us “run the race” like we’ve never run before, let us look forward and not back, let us forget old habits and fears. Let us put absolute faith in the Author and Finisher of that faith, and let us climb to the summit of the mountain that is our ultimate purpose. Let us know Jesus and through who we are and what we do, let us make him known to those around us, whether overtly or subtly. Let us give him glory and honour.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

As for me, I’m aiming to “Run the Race” this year, as though it is the last year to run; to make the work moments and the ministry moments count, the family time worthwhile, and to take nothing for granted. For me, this is the year of intention; this year is imperative.

So, I’m urging us all to RUN: like we’ve never run before… headlong into hope and faith.

BTW: Someone has agreed with me. See The Year of Fulfillment (Pastor Ron Hawkins, First Assembly Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA) and Ezekiel Chapter 12.

By Dr Sarah Tun

Dr Sarah Tun began her professional career as a teacher. Years later she became a performing artist and administrator to property development. She felt the Call to write full time in 2004. Dr Sarah has traveled extensively, and lived in New York City (for a year), London England (for a long time) and Hong Kong (briefly) before returning to her home in Ontario, Canada, then to Spain and finally now, has re-settled in her adoptive home of England. She graduated with degrees in Drama, Education and diplomas in Acting and Theology. Most recently she was awarded Honorary Doctor of Ministry and became ordained. Her favourite experience to date has been following her Creator and Lord. She doesn't think Life can get any better! Dr Sarah Tun is author, singer, preacher, writing coach and all-round enthusiast, celebrating and seeking to inspire all of us to quench our thirst for deeper intimacy with God through the Holy Spirit.

6 replies on “Run!”

Try this FOOD FOR THE SOUL Sarah

Perseverance in Running the Race as Catholic Men

by Maurice Blumberg on February 17, 2009

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24).

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:24-25). What do these words mean to you,” persevere in running the race that lies before us” (Hebrews 12:1)? Your answer will be related to how big your view of the Christian life is. Is it limited to living a moral life? Is it possible that God may want to expand your horizons a bit? In a world that is filled with temptations and challenges, the Scripture verses above tell us that our lives have a purpose beyond just trying our best to be good. They tell us that the Christian life is like a race, and that the prize is nothing less than Jesus himself, the eternal Son of God.!

No wonder the author of Hebrews encourages us to persevere! We are running this race so that we can live with Jesus forever. And not just forever in heaven, but “forever” starting here and now. We have the opportunity to be transformed, to be filled to overflowing with divine, imperishable, heavenly life. So how are we to persevere? By throwing off “every burden and sin that clings to us” (Hebrews 12:1). Our days are so often full of struggles. We feel tempted by sin on every side. Our children anger us, or we feel unhappy about our financial circumstances. Perhaps we are pressed to compromise our values by situations at work. These are the burdens and distractions that weigh us down and keep our eyes fixed on our problems and not on Jesus. If we continue to do this, our problems can even lead us to sinful ways of dealing with them — overeating, outbursts of anger, even marital infidelity.

If it seems impossible, remember that Jesus not only gives us faith, he perfects it as well. So it doesn’t all depend on you! Yes, you have battles to fight. But remember that Christ is in you. Remember that he has grace stored up just for you, grace that will help you in every situation you have to face. Christian perseverance is not a matter of struggling along by ourselves and hoping we make it. It is a matter of abiding in Christ and letting him fight alongside you. It is a matter of joining with other Christian men and letting him fight alongside you. It is a matter of persevering in prayer. And most importantly, it is a matter of pressing on with our eyes fixed on obtaining the highest and most glorious crown possible— eternal life with Jesus Christ himself! Then one day we too can say these words of St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

“Lord, you know my strengths and weaknesses. You also know that I desire to be with you now and for all eternity. Come, Jesus, and fill me with your strength and your courage. Lord, I want to persevere in running and finishing the race with you!”

Reflect on the Scriptures at the beginning of the article. How important is it to you to “persevere in running the race that lies before us”? How good are you at “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith” when you are responding to difficult problems, temptations, and challenges? What are some steps you can take to improve how you respond? How important is it to you to say at the end of your life these words of St. Paul given at the end of the article? “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Excellent food for thought, Henryk. I shall be writing on this “race” for a few more weeks/inserts. I look forward to exchanging more with you.

Question: “What is the conscience?”

Answer: The conscience is defined as that part of the human psyche that induces mental anguish and feelings of guilt when we violate it and feelings of pleasure and well-being when our actions, thoughts and words are in conformity to our value systems. The Greek word translated “conscience” in all New Testament references is suneidēsis, meaning “moral awareness” or “moral consciousness.” The conscience reacts when one’s actions, thoughts, and words conform to, or are contrary to, a standard of right and wrong.

There is no Hebrew term in the Old Testament equivalent to suneidēsis in the New Testament. The lack of a Hebrew word for “conscience” may be due to the Jewish worldview, which was communal rather than individual. The Hebrew considered himself as a member of a covenant community that related corporately to God and His laws, rather than as an individual. In other words, the Hebrew was confident in his own position before God if the Hebrew nation as a whole was in good fellowship with Him.

The New Testament concept of conscience is more individual in nature and involves three major truths. First, conscience is a God-given capacity for human beings to exercise self-evaluation. Paul refers several times to his own conscience being “good” or “clear” (Acts 23:1; 24:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4). Paul examined his own words and deeds and found them to be in accordance with his morals and value system, which were, of course, based on God’s standards. His conscience verified the integrity of his heart.

Second, the New Testament portrays the conscience as a witness to something. Paul says the Gentiles have consciences that bear witness to the presence of the law of God written on their hearts, even though they did not have the Mosaic Law (Romans 2:14-15). He also appeals to his own conscience as a witness that he speaks the truth (Romans 9:1) and that he has conducted himself in holiness and sincerity in his dealings with men (2 Corinthians 1:12). He also says that his conscience tells him his actions are apparent to both God and the witness of other men’s consciences (2 Corinthians 5:11).

Third, the conscience is a servant of the individual’s value system. An immature or weak value system produces a weak conscience, while a fully informed value system produces a strong sense of right and wrong. In the Christian life, one’s conscience can be driven by an inadequate understanding of scriptural truths and can produce feelings of guilt and shame disproportionate to the issues at hand. Maturing in the faith strengthens the conscience.

This last function of the conscience is what Paul addresses in his instructions regarding eating food sacrificed to idols. He makes the case that, since idols are not real gods, it makes no difference if food has been sacrificed to them or not. But some in the Corinthian church were weak in their understanding and believed that such gods really existed. These immature believers were horrified at the thought of eating food sacrificed to the gods, because their consciences were informed by erroneous prejudices and superstitious views. Therefore, Paul encourages those more mature in their understanding not to exercise their freedom to eat if it would cause the consciences of their weaker brothers to condemn their actions. The lesson here is that, if our consciences are clear because of mature faith and understanding, we are not to cause those with weaker consciences to stumble by exercising the freedom that comes with a stronger conscience.

Another reference to conscience in the New Testament is to a conscience that is “seared” or rendered insensitive as though it had been cauterized with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Such a conscience is hardened and calloused, no longer feeling anything. A person with a seared conscience no longer listens to its promptings, and he can sin with abandon, delude himself into thinking all is well with his soul, and treat others insensitively and without compassion.

As Christians, we are to keep our consciences clear by obeying God and keeping our relationship with Him in good standing. We do this by the application of His Word, renewing and softening our hearts continually. We consider those whose consciences are weak, treating them with Christian love and compassion.

Hi Henryk, You bring many points to the discussion, which is always good. Thank you. I would ask that perhaps you keep your comments short, to prompt others. Blogging/commenting is great, but on other’s blogs I think it’s best to keep comments connected to the initial post. Hey! Why not have your own blog site, and point others to your longer responses via a link 🙂
Every blessing, Brother.

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