In Australia, we have just finished the Commonwealth games. Athletes and sportsmen/women from all over the British Commonwealth have been competing for prizes of gold, silver and bronze medals, fame, and sponsorship deals.
There have been tears of joy for the winners, and tears of disappointment and shattered dreams for the losers.
With the games over, the Gold Coast is now returning back to normal as the athletes, officials and spectators head home to their normal lives.
At this time I am reminded that the Christian life is like an athlete running a race. The Apostle Paul uses this analogy in the New Testament.
How are we to run this race of life?
We are to run our race with:
- Endurance. When the problems of life overwhelm us, we must run with the endurance of a marathon runner.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 NKJV.
- A good fight. What is meant by a good fight? This means we run our race with fairness, honesty, wellness and worthy of the prize.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV.
- Keeping your eye on the prize. A sprinter concentrates only on the finish line. If he wants the prize at the end of the race, he or she cannot let anything outside of their lane distract them from the tape at the finish line.
“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:14 NKJV.
We are not running for gold, silver or bronze medals, but we are running for prizes of greater value.
What are some of these prizes?
1. The Crown of Glory.
“and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 Peter 5:4 NKJV.
2. The Crown of Life.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 NKJV.
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 NKJV.
3. The Crown of Rejoicing.
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19 NKJV.
4. The Crown of Righteousness.
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8NKJV.
So! Run your race well and look toward the prize.