It’s Monday morning once again and I think I have spent some late nights this weekend watching the Olympics. It is amazing to hear the back stories of the athletes – the struggles, obstacles, and heartbreaks which they had to overcome to get to the place they desired. Their intended place.
As I have thought on this, I realized how much we need to have the same focus and drive as an athlete. Paul in writing to the Corinthians reminds us:
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step, I am not just shadowboxing.”
(1 Corinthians 9:24-26, NLT)
Paul was alluding to the athletic competitions of his own day. He knew the months of training the athletes endured in order to compete. It was the only way the prize could be obtained.
He reminds us we need to be disciplined, not just going through the motions each day so that our lives fulfill the Lord’s purposes.
The parade of nations is always stunning to me as some are represented with many athletes, and some with just the one. Yet they all carry their flag with pride knowing they represent something larger, and more important, than themselves.
There were a few countries I had never heard of before and was overcome with emotion. Those countries, although unknown to me, have been known to our God. No matter how small or obscure, they have always been seen by Him.
“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”
(Revelation 7:9-10, NLT)
The Gospel must go to every nation. To every people. Our Lord died for each and every one. So simple and yet so great a task.
May we each run with purpose in every step!