19th July 2012

Win The Race Of Life

“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. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (NKJV)

At the Olympics we will see super-fit athletes competing to win a gold, silver or bronze medal in their chosen event.  Through wind, rain and shine they will have trained every day for several hours driving themselves on through sheer determination. Trained through injuries, which every top athlete suffers from time to time, through disappointment in other lesser competitions, through missing out on the normal social life others their age are enjoying. Finally after years of dedication and effort their chance will come and they will race, jump or throw at the Olympics to make their dream come true. But in each event only three people will win those highly coveted medals. For most will come the sadness of not making it through the heats in their event, or getting to the final but finishing out of those top three medal positions. Yet they will have trained just as long and just as hard as the three medal winners standing on the podium enjoying the applause as they receive their hard won bronze, silver or gold medal.

Let’s take nothing away from those medal winners, who will richly deserve their success, while remembering those who worked as hard but finished with no medal. All the focus will be on the winners who on the day, and at that time, had that little bit extra which results in recognition both then and for the rest of their lives.

That, of course, reflects life today when the few at the top in any area reap rich rewards while the many, who may work just as hard, never get the recognition their efforts deserve, just like the athletes who don’t win the medals.

But what about the race of life? Is there a way which guarantees you will be a winner?  The good news is, Yes there is. Our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, has paid the penalty for all our sins and opened the way for us to have a relationship with God through eternity. God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. God already knows you personally and individually.

But what about the work involved?  All you have to do is accept Christ as your personal saviour. If that seems too easy, that’s because it is.  Salvation is a free gift–all you have to do is accept it. Because we accept Christ as our personal Saviour it would be good to pray, to read your Bible and come to church. But none of those things are conditions, they are our response to that gift.

When Christ returns, and he will, you’ll be there standing on the only podium that matters in the race that has no losers. Having faith is all you need to be a winner in the race of life.

Loving Father, help us to understand and accept the free gift you place before us through the unique life and sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Study by Keith Hartrick

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