Words from the Heart for Saturday August 6th, 2016
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT)
Like an Athlete
One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. As we grow to be more like Jesus, we will be intentionally evaluating how we use our time, our talents, and our resources. How is your training progressing in each area?
In April 2015, The Ontarion, which is the University of Guelph’s Independent Student Newspaper, published a list of Canada’s top 10 athletes of all times. What I like about the list is the variety of sports represented, although as you might expect, three of the top ten are hockey players. They are as varied as golfer Mike Weir, skier Nancy Greene, baseball great Ferguson Jenkins, and two sport Olympian Clara Hughes. These kinds of lists are always subjective of course. I expected Terry Fox to be near the top of the list and he was there in the number two spot. The three hockey players on the list are Bobby Orr at #5, Gordie Howe at #3 and in number one spot, the Great One Wayne Gretzky. Canada has produced some incredible athletes over the years and continues to do so.
The 2016 Olympic Summer Games are underway. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to watch the best athletes in the world do amazing things. They have reached the pinnacle of their sport and will perform before the world. But there are some athletes who will not be in Rio. They worked hard and kept focused, but in the end they decided to take performance enhancement drugs and they have been disqualified. There is a Kingdom of God principle here. Paul the apostle writes this in 1 Corinthians 9:27: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” Within Christian circles there have been far too many who have been faithful for many years but who let their guard down morally or theologically and have been disqualified. If you have been faithfully walking with Christ, if you have been disciplined in your spiritual life, you understand the joy of having a life free from guilt and shame and the peace that comes from having developed an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to keep on. The race of the Christian life is a marathon not a sprint. We must daily commit ourselves to keeping focused on Jesus and the goal He has set for us. It will take discipline and determination. But it will also guarantee that you finish the race in victory.
These have been words from the heart.