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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Run To Win

1 Corinthians 9:24 "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." NIV

Pic from
Paul compares the Christian experience to a foot race.  This would have been a very distinct analogy to the people of the First Century, who were well familiar with the Hellenistic Olympic Games.  The Olympians trained intensely so as to be the winner and receive the prize.  They would receive a laurel wreath that would be placed on their head and their name would be inscribed in the Olympic records. This was a great honor.  They would receive great accolades--they were very much the celebrities of the time.   

In middle school a friend and I were fierce at Badminton; well, as fierce as two seventh graders can be.  The annoying thing about us is that we skipped, spun, tip-toed and did victory dances.  While our opponents got angrier and sweatier we just smacked the birdie and perturbed them all the more with silly sound effects.  We were all but unbeaten and there was a price on our heads in the locker room.  Sports Day arrived and I signed up for tennis, which I played relatively well.  Brash from winning so many Badminton games, I began my vexing antics again.  I had a different partner and she wasn't so impressed with my amazing tip-toed backhand.  We began losing and by the time I got serious and really put some elbow into it, it was too late.  I had fooled around too long and we lost, I'll never forget the look on her twelve-year-old face.

Eternity isn't a tennis match or a foot race.  The prize is much more dear than any accolades or a wreath.  In order to run the race so that we may win, we must be trained in the Word of God and love more fervently than any athelete trains.  Becoming too confident of our own abilities is a sure-fire way to lose.  As Christians, it is our responsibility to get as many people across the finish line as possible for the Kingdom.  This is God's will and His heart.


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