Would they go ahead... or wouldn't they? Well, aren't you glad the suspense is over? Now we know. Yes, I'm referring to the Olympics of course.
So from the highest to the longest... the fastest to the strongest, athletes test themselves against one another, the clock and the tape-measure. Yet whether we're a competitor or a spectator, there's a prize, greater than them all, and it can be ours, no matter our age, nationality or physical condition!
Problems with fitness, money and relationships are only some of the hurdles which can sap our energy for daily living. But when the going gets tough we need to remember the invitation of the Lord Jesus Christ to all-comers...
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Top class athletes rely on reserves of strength and endurance. But when it comes to pleasing God, we're like the archer whose arrow falls short of the target. Even our personal best fails to reach the standard God sets for us...
...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Training regimes demand a great deal of sacrifice from international athletes. But when Christ Jesus sacrificed His life for us on the Cross of Calvary, He had already run the 'race of life' to perfection. In doing so He proved to be the only One 'good enough' to take the punishment our wrong-doing deserves. Yet to be 'put right' with God we must be ready for the direction of our lives to change... and with His help, turn away from all we know to be wrong...
...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...
Of course the Christian life is more of a marathon than a sprint, and the Lord Jesus makes clear the cost involved in becoming one of His true followers...
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.
1 Corinthians 9:24
In any sporting event the thrill of victory can be short-lived. But everyone who asks the risen Christ Jesus to become their Saviour and Lord receives the crown of everlasting life... a victory beyond compare...
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it for a
crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:25
And this is the greatest challenge... demanding a response from us all!
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