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  The Chrome Horn - Racing With Jesus Ministries

VALUE
by Rev. Don Rivers

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  It is discouraging to see how some are responding to recent events. It is not new but Iíve seen far too much wrong reaction to keep silent. Why is it that we want grace and understanding when we fall short, but are so unwilling to give someone else the same courtesy? Why is that we fail to see the value of someoneís life before we so quickly grind it in the dirt under our feet? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  What have we become? We have moved so far away from a nurturing, caring, compassionate, understanding society it is difficult to see why God even bothers with us. Why are we so unwilling to value the one thing that God holds in the highest regard, life, our life.

 John 3:16-17; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

  Unfortunately we have followed the rest of society down the path of condemnation without consideration. If God refused to condemn us and even made a way for us to be restored why is that we so easily condemn and discard the lives of those around us? There is forgiveness in Godís Word!

  Have you ever done something wrong? Seems like a simple question with a simple answer, but why is it we forget that when it comes time to forgive someone else for their shortcomings? Forgiveness is something we want to receive but many times are not as willing to give.

  Let me set the record straight, we all have shortcomings. We all make choices that seem right at the time but in retrospect they were not the correct ones. That being said, why have we become a society that condemns before we forgive? We disrespect God and the value he placed on our lives when we refuse to forgive. Zero tolerance is not the right way to deal with mistakes.

  I can remember several occasions that mistakes have been made, by me and others, on and off the track. Sometimes mistakes take on a life of their own. At times we decide that some mistakes are greater in value than others. We even give certain people a pass while others get crucified. Let me set the record straight, we all fall short of perfection, we all fall short of Godís standard.

Romans 8:23; There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

   And the penalty is the same;

Romans 6:23a; For the wages of sin is death,

  But when we look at the rest of that verse and we start to see what God intends for us.

Romans 6:23b; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

   God said I will make a way for your shortcomings to be forgiven; I will send My Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for you.

  Now if God is ready to forgive and restore us to a right relationship with Him who are we to withhold that from others? Who are we to judge and condemn those around us who fall short?

  Forgive and forget; a familiar refrain, but one of the most difficult things for us to do. We want to get back at the person who wronged us. We have a need to get even. We have our rights and no one is going to take advantage of us. We say that we forgive but we will never forget. We tend to be unforgiving people when it comes to others, but we want to be forgiven when it comes to us.

  We would be remiss if we didnít discuss the consequences for our actions. There are consequences to every decision we make. Those consequences not only affect us but they affect everyone around us. The consequences of our decisions donít go away when we are forgiven, they remain. But let me be clear, condemnation from others is not a consequence of poor decisions; that is not the way God sees it.

 John 8:2-11; 2 At dawn he (Jesus) appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, ďTeacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?Ē 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ďLet any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.Ē 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, ďWoman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?Ē

11 ďNo one, sir,Ē she said.

ďThen neither do I condemn you,Ē Jesus declared. ďGo now and leave your life of sin.Ē

  Living in peace is a difficult task. Have you ever thought about what it takes to be a peacemaker? Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker. He gave his life so that we could have peace with God. Jesus came, suffered, died and rose again so that the penalty for our sin would be paid in full. We can receive that payment by accepting it. It is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8-9; For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast.

  God provided this opportunity for forgiveness and we receive it by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When we do we make peace with God, we restore our relationship with Him, and our sin is forgiven, remembered no more.

  We cannot receive the full blessing of God if we refuse to forgive others. Our unwillingness to forgive implies that our standard is greater than Godís. That is not correct; Godís standard is the only one that counts. If God is willing to forgive you there is no reason we could have for not forgiving others. We need to value what Godís values, the lives of each one of us.

  Make that commitment this week, that we will value what God values. Commit that we will go to people you have refused to forgive and forgive them. We will rise above the crowd of condemnation and restore the value that God places on each one of our lives. Let those directly affected by wrong decisions work through the consequences. Ours is not to decide how someone else should be punished.

 Luke 6:31; Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

  Donít worry if they refuse to accept it, many have refused to accept the forgiveness that God offers. We are not called to make people accept our forgiveness, but to offer the gift. Value what God values, offer that gift to someone today.

  Here is some direction from Godís Word;

Romans 12:9-18; 9 Donít just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When Godís people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you. Donít curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Donít be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And donít think you know it all!

17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

 

  THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD

 
 NEW LONDON-WATERFORD SPEEDBOWL OPENS - What looked like the impossible dream has become a reality. The NLW Speedbowl has risen from the ashes of foreclosure and returned to the run another day. Last Saturday night the ribbon was cut and the green flag waved beginning a new era at the famed 3/8 mile on the Connecticut coast.

  As I sat in the stands waiting for opening ceremonies there was a buzz in the air. In addition to the usual opening night buzz this one was more of hope, relief, thanksgiving and excitement combined. For the faithful this was a day they thought they would never see again. Their beloved Speedbowl was open for business.

  Looking around you could see things had begun to change. Getting everything in place for opening night was not possible, but enough had been done to know that the track is moving in a different direction, forward. New paint was not just put on over what was there, you could see the efforts and new construction.

  The things that couldnít be accomplished are in the works. Iím told the town is doing their best to fast-track permits to get some of the major work done now that the weather will allow it. The feeling is one of hope, looking toward the future and putting things in place for the future.

  We are glad to be a part of it and look forward to having a more significant role there. Rev. Ray closed the driver meeting in prayer and brought the invocation on opening night. A new start and a new commitment from us to be there for the drivers that call New London-Waterford Speedbowl home.

  MADDOG OPENS THE VMRS SEASON - Different track, different series, different car, but the same one-two punch. Todd Szegedy got the best of Woody Pitkat this time. Last week Pitkat won out at the Spring Sizzler, this week Szegedy came home in the number one position and Pitkat followed him across the stripe.

  I know both of these drivers very well and have been alongside for some of the more difficult days in a driverís career. The days when you look ahead and donít see where you fit in. I am excited for both of them as they see the provision of God as he provides an opportunity for them to pursue their passion.

  Warren Alston began his new role as race director and reports were that he did an excellent job in his first outing. My hope is his influence will stabilize the series and allow it to regain its standing among the racing community.

  A FEW FOLKS TO REMEMBER - I had the pleasure of leading a Celebration of Life for Linda Austin last Monday in Maine. It was good to be a part of such a special night with some of the old Busch North Gang. This week there are a few more goodbyes to say.

  On Friday night, May 8, we will remember Bob LeSieur at the VFW in Easton, Ma. Bob is the son of Val LeSieur, former Speedway Scene publisher. Most donít know the connection Val has with RWJM. Val was an integral part of getting RWJM established as he stood by his good friend Rev. Pat Evans.

  On Saturday, May 9, I will join the Bouley family, George, Kimmy and Scott as they say goodbye to their wife and mom, Beverly. George competed at the Danbury Race Arena and still drives haulers for some Modified teams. Scott drove on the Busch North Series and also at Stafford. Kimmy is always by their side supporting whatever they do. We will be at the Hillside Cemetery in Thomaston, CT at 11:00. A reception will follow at the Thomaston Firehouse.

  Another ministry supporter went home to the Lord this week, Frank Streb. Frank was a fixture in the pits at Stafford supporting the Butler Late-model and the Saunders twins. He also supported our efforts. It was a pleasure to speak at his church in Stafford and always enjoyed sharing racing stories. He will be missed.

  As we look forward to this weekend, keep an eye on our Facebook page, see where we are traveling and support us in prayer.

 
Until next time, be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at http://www.rwjm.com/store. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Remember that God loves you, we love you and

Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
 

   Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586, Tolland, CT 06084.

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Numbers 6:24-26 "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

   May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
 


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Source: Rev Don Rivers / Racing With Jesus Ministries
Posted: May 8, 2015

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