“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)
The Olympic games ignite a passion and pride for one’s country like no other event. The athletes have put in countless hours, sacrifice, and energy into being one of the top athletes in the world. Although all of them train, only one wins the gold medal per event. The world watches and marvels as world records are broken and history is made.
While Paul challenges the Corinthians in their pursuit of Christ, he compares the Christian walk to an athlete competing in a race. There is a significant difference between an afternoon jog and running in the race of your life. Your approach, mentality, and attitude is different. It changes the way you live your life. In comparison, our journey with Christ should reflect the passion and intensity of a winning athlete. With the magnitude of what is at stake – people dying without knowing Jesus – it should change the way that we live our lives. Many times in our Christian walk, we figuratively want the results of an Olympic runner, but we haven’t put the time into cultivating our relationship with God through prayer to see it happen. The world stands back and applauds the Olympians as they win a medal. We see the end result, but that athlete’s whole life has been invested into that moment. So, don’t wait for the moment to preach to thousands of people to start passionately running your race. Invest your whole life into passionately pursuing Christ. Get up each day with the resolve to run to win the race God has placed before you.
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