Winning the Christian Race

If the apostle Paul were alive today, he might use the best highlight play on ESPN as an illustration for his next sermon.

Christian Athletes

Sporting events were like a religion among the Greeks, much like the media centers in many living rooms today. Athletes do not succeed by accident. Victory is the result of hard work. That includes long hours of practice and a lifestyle of serious discipline.

If anyone is interested in winning the Christian race, then Paul’s playbook is worth studying:

Winning Athletes Love the Game

Find that one thing you love to do and you do it well. That may be your race to run!

The thrill of being in the game is in the blood of every competitor. Paul said the personal battles before the game would never stop him from taking his position on the field. He stayed with God’s game plan and played by the rules. Complaining about personal hardships was not an option; living through them and learning from them was.

Paul lived out his game with a passion that was contagious to his team. He was always ready with his game helmet of salvation, focusing on the end zone of saving faith in Jesus Christ. The only thing that stopped him was when God allowed the game clock of life to run out.

Find that one thing you love to do and you do it well. That may be your race to run!

Winning Athletes Discipline Themselves for the Game

Presenting our bodies to God, “spiritually in shape each day,” is an act of worship!

Winning demands discipline. It takes more than getting pumped up before the game to win. A disciplined body and a disciplined mind will have a direct effect on the outcome of every game.

Samson had all of the potential for greatness, but never practiced discipline. His mind and body were out of shape, so his life was out of control. He lived to please himself. Potential, alone, never put anyone across the goal line. Paul said: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”

Presenting our bodies to God, “spiritually in shape each day,” is an act of worship!

Winning Athletes Want to Win the Game

It’s never too late to get in the game!

“Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.” A dedicated athlete wants to win and will do his best to get the victory. If he loses, he will learn from that loss and get ready for the next opportunity to win. Every Christian can be a first-place winner. We compete against ourselves and not each other. God will judge our servanthood on the basis of what we did with the opportunities and gifts he gave to us.

Paul explains it this way: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.”

Every NFL athlete competes to obtain a perishable Super Bowl ring, but the Christians’ faithfulness is celebrated with an imperishable crown in heaven. It’s never too late to get in the game!

How are you being encourage as you run your race?

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