25th July 2012
Jesus says, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world!”
John 16: 33 (NLT)
The famous story about the name of the long distance foot race called the Marathon concerns a military courier who, after the battle of Marathon where the Athenians successfully defeated the invading Persian army in 490 BC, ran all the way from the battlefield to Athens with the news. Having reached the city square he cried, “Victory!” and fell dead.
This year as the Olympic Games are being hosted in London, this will become the scene of many feats of endurance and strength. Over the duration of a few weeks athletes from over 200 nations will be locked in struggles for victory in the many events. The few who succeed will get to stand on the three-tiered rostrum, see their national flag unfurled, hear the anthem of their nation blast out over the stadium, and receive either a gold, silver or bronze medal. Victory is, of course, an extremely exciting and exhilarating experience, and one that Christians should be conscious of as they go about their daily lives. The majority of us will never have the experience of winning such a competition but we can experience spiritual victory over sin, death, and Satan—a victory that has already been given to us through Jesus Christ.
Speaking about all of the problems of this life, Paul declares, “But in all these things we are completely victorious through God who showed his love for us.” (Romans 8:37 NCV). This amazing victory is a special gift given to us by our Saviour and Friend.
Did you realise that the word Nike is used in the New Testament? Nike is a Greek work that denotes victory, or more specifically, “the means to victory.” Notice the Apostle John’s words in 1 John 5:4 (NKJV); he writes; “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory (Greek—Nike) that has overcome the world—our faith.” He’s telling us that our rebirth is to victory; in Christ we are victors, more than conquerors, through our faith in him (Romans 8:37 NIV). So, even now, in the midst of trials and difficulties, can we picture ourselves on the winner’s rostrum, not receiving a gold medal, but a crown of righteousness?
Looking back on his life and contemplating his death, Paul declares to his spiritual son Timothy (2 Timothy 1:2 NKJV), “Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8 NKJV).
Thank you Father, that you have crowned us with victory even now in this life and have a very precious gift for us that will last for all eternity.
Study by Cliff Neill