Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Everyone Who Competes in the Games

I do all things for the sake of the gospel,
So that I may become a fellow partaker of it
Don’t you know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win.
Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.
They “just do it” to receive a simple prize, but we serve others to receive a reward of eternal glory, where we will reign with Jesus forever.

Therefore I train hard, and run with purpose
I box – not for nothing, but to win.
I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself won’t be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9.23-27 (KPV)

The Olympics give us disciples a lesson on commitment and excellence.  It is not something anyone can learn from a typical church.  There, people are expected merely to attend and be basically ‘good’ people.  But to learn how to be a true disciple of Jesus, these days look to athletics.

I’m going to try to make a few posts here during the games … hoping you’ll understand the true meaning of discipleship as seen through the “parable” of the Olympics.

Let’s start by thinking of the rewards.  Paul observed that in his day the Olympic champions got a wreath that would dry-up, but we work for a permanent reward in heaven.  Our reward cannot be taken away, it will not decay or rot or fall apart or rust – it’s the one true reward.

Spend some time today thinking, praying and studying about Heaven.  And when you’ve imagined the greatest place you can … then believe it’s even better than that!  And remember this line from Amazing Grace:
“When we’ve been there 10,000 years … we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’d first begun.”

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