Ecclesiastes 9:16-18, MSG: All the same, I still say that wisdom is better than muscle, even though the wise poor man was treated with contempt and soon forgotten. The quiet words of the wise are more effective than the ranting of a king of fools. Wisdom is better than warheads, but one hothead can ruin the good earth.
2 Timothy 4:7-8, MSG: This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting — God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
Galatians 5:7-10, MSG: You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.
Philippians 2:14-15, MSG: Do everything readily and cheerfully — no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.
Hebrews 12:2-3: MSG: Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!