The Olympic Games feature men and women accomplishing great feats of skill, strength and courage. As captivating as these sports are, none of the athletes reached the world’s most spectacular event by accident. Each participant spent countless hours preparing for their few moments of competition. The sought-after prize, a medal made of Gold. In ancient times, those who emerged victorious received a different prize, a laurel, or crown, made from twisted olive branches. To the winner goes the glory.
The apostle Paul likens the Christian life to that of preparing for such a sporting event. Just as athletes spend countless hours conditioning their bodies, Christians are to prepare their hearts and minds to live for the sake of the gospel. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ means training one’s self in the scriptures. It means striving to live according to God’s precepts and engaging in spiritual disciplines such as worship and prayer.
To run the race of faith, one must seek to live differently than as people of the world live. To love God and neighbor, and to share the gospel with those who have not yet heard the good news of Christ is the goal. Finishing the race, God’s people are adorned with the most precious prize of all, everlasting life in the presence of the living Lord Jesus. For it is God who receives the glory.
Prayer: Lord, guide my ways that I may live according to your will. Amen.