Run the Race
By shaunefc, Oct 3 2012 12:38PM
Now, I know that I have kept off the subject of the Olympics and Paralympics all the summer, but... as so many commentators and other folk say, "There is a legacy!"
And now it is all over, bar the shouting, for another 4 years, except that it will soon be time (if not already) for the various athletes to begin their training for 2016!
So what is the legacy as far as Christians are concerned? Perhaps the most important thing for Christians to remember is that we should always be preparing for the time when we are called to be with our God and Father together with our Lord and Saviour in Heaven! Of course, it's not something that, as with the Olympics, takes place every 4 years and so the date and time are known to us! We don't have any clue as to when the time of our "home call" might be - even the Lord Jesus doesn't know when that time might be: "But of that day and hour no one knows... but My Father only" [Matthew 24:36].
The apostle, Paul, likened life to a race. In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, he wrote: "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." In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, Paul also wrote, "I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing."
James, in his letter, also tells us something about this crown, when he writes in chapter 1 verse 12: "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."
There's just one warning, however, in Revelation 3:11 "Hold fast to what you have, that no one may take your crown".
We are reminded in the words of the hymn by John Samuel Bewly Monsell (1811-75) to:
Run the straight race through God's good grace,
lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
life with its way before thee lies,
Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.
And George Duffield (1818-88) in the second half of the last verse of his hymn "Stand up, stand up for Jesus", reminds us that:
To him that overcometh
a crown of life shall be;
he with the King of glory
shall reign eternally.
My prayer for us at Egerton Free Church, and all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, is that as we live out our lives for Christ we might be faithful in all things as we "run the race that is set before us" so that, when we are called to our eternal home we shall, indeed, receive that crown of eternal life which will be given to all believers.
I'm not on facebook or a tweeter, but I would like to add my name to the "likes", and congratulate the author of the Olympic Thoughts article on his work. I remember as a boy being told of a verse in the K.J.Bible which says that "bodily exercise profiteth little", (no doubt it was mentioned in order to curb my over-enthusiasm for sport!), However, I'm sure well-directed exercise increases the "profit" (e.g digging the garden, walking to visit a friend). And of course there are athletes who use their fame in order to make public their faith (Chariots of Fire). So I'm glad you didn't steer clear of the Olympic theme. The "race that is set before us" is the hardest of all, and we all need the encouragement of articles like yours. Theo.
Hello everyone at Egerton Free church!
Yes a fine article very appropriate comment on the use of some athletes for the purpose of solid testimony.
I am, of course, using this comment to just wish you all well and say how we did enjoy our occasional visits to you there with great relief and find refreshment for the work we were involved in on the Stanhope estate, now some 40 years ago, from 1975-1980.
May the Lord continue to Bless you in many and various ways and thank you for your hospitality (around the Oliver table) and fellowship in those far off days!
We are now found on www.whosmyneighbor.org
Our love to you all,
Syd & Liz Doyle