The Next Step

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Daily Reformation, Hebrews 12:1-3

From the Reformer

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This is plain speaking. Paul asserts that he teaches the same truth now which he has always taught, and that the Galatians ran well as long as they obeyed the truth. But now, misled by the false apostles, they no longer run. He compares the Christian life to a race. When everything runs along smoothly the Hebrews spoke of it as a race. “Ye did run well,” means that everything went along smoothly and happily with the Galatians. They lived a Christian life and were on the right way to everlasting life. The words, “Ye did run well,” are encouraging indeed. Often our lives seem to creep rather than to run. But if we abide in the true doctrine and walk in the spirit, we have nothing to worry about. God judges our lives differently. What may seem to us a life slow in Christian development may seem to God a life of rapid progression in grace.

—Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians (5:7)

Pulling It Together

He put one foot in front of the other. That was the secret; it was just that simple. This was his morning jog and today, as every day, the method got him started and kept him going. He did not have to consider the miles ahead — only the next step. And so, he plodded on down the road. At some point, a light turned red and cars began to pass in front of him. He was forced to stop running for awhile. When the light turned green, it was hard to move back into a run. Yet he was able to do so by putting one foot in front of the other. Further on, some friends had gathered and he stopped for a bit to speak with them. They invited him to breakfast but instead of doing the easy thing, he put one step in front of the other. A few miles into the run, he was faced with a long, steady climb up a hill. He considered walking up the hill but kept putting one step in front of the other. Eventually, he finished the entire course and he did so by the very simple method of only considering the step that lay before him and placing one foot after the last.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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