Tuesday, March 19, 2013


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

The Christian life is an event. The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, illustrates his faith by comparing it to two sporting events: boxing and running. When it comes to sports, there are a number of ways we can approach it. We might have no interest at all, we might be casual spectator, or an avid fan, or we might be an active participant. I will presume that those reading this are already participants in or on the way to becoming a participant in the Christian life. If one wants to take this seriously, discipline, training, commitment and dedication are required. Oh, anyone can goof around in the backyard for fun, no special discipline is required, and no commitment is needed. But there is no prize for that.

Get in the ring! Get in the Race! Train. Prepare. Focus. Discipline yourself. Like an Olympian training for an event, perhaps years in the future, make the Christian life your everything. Eat it. Sleep it. Breathe it. This is your life! This is what you do. This is who you are. Everything else is meaningless. You want to participate. No! You want to play to win. Anything less is unacceptable.

When it is all said and done, may we be able to say, as Paul did, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." The Lord awaits with the prize: the crown of righteousness. It is all well worth the effort.

Heavenly Father, we want to play. We want to be on your team. Give us the zeal, the passion, the focus to give it all we got. We are not satisfied being spectators or even casual players. We want to be in the big game. Discipline us, work us, use us. Help us go another round. Help us make another lap. Lord, with the prize in sight, the goal in view, motivate us, push us, drive us on! When we want to sit out or throw in the towel, wave that prize in front of us! Holy Spirit, give us that second wind when needed. Lord Jesus, run beside us! Bring us to the finish line ... victorious! Amen!

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