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Don’t Stand Up Too Soon

By Don Loftis | 04.04.18

In 1957 Willie Shoemaker was one of the best young jockeys in the world of horse racing.  Having already won one Kentucky Derby, that year he was riding one of the favorites, Gallant Man.  He was leading the race until passing the sixteenth pole, he mistook it for the finish line.  Standing up in the stirrups for just a moment slowed the horse enough that Iron Liege defeated him by a nose.


The ability to finish strong is a virtue in school, business and sports.  There are times we must push through adversity and even failure in order to achieve real success.  The baseball pennant is not won in the first month of the season, but after all 162 games are played.


Even in living for the Lord, we can “stand up too soon”.  Many people give up their godly dreams, because of worldly setbacks.  Just because your friend has resisted your invitation to follow Christ, don’t give up or stop finding new ways to highlight the Gospel.  We must not grow weary in our own faithfulness.  The devil desires that we become discouraged and stop living for the Lord.  If we slow up, he will take advantage.


Two great passages should always be in our minds.  The first is Jesus’ conditional promise in Rev. 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  The second is a part of the apostle Paul’s great victory speech in II Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing.”  Let’s be faithful to the finish line.



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