Have you been watching the winter Olympics? We’ve caught bits and pieces here and there… last night we watched the final three skaters in the men’s competition and watched Nathan Chen from the US take the gold medal. It was exhilarating! Just this morning I heard a news item about how many hours of training is required to become a competitive athlete at that level. It literally has to become your life. You eat, sleep, train… repeat. It takes not only physical strength and skill, but mental and emotional strength and dedication to your art.

In Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, he says this, “Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one” In the Olympics athletes compete for the ultimate prize… the gold medal. But here, Paul is saying that medal or prize is just perishable. Sure, the athlete will probably get some endorsements and make plenty of money. They will most certainly go down in history of the sport. But, when all is said and done, the fame only lasts for a little while. Paul says to run our race so as to win the imperishable prize… eternal life.

We know there is nothing we can do to “win” our prize in heaven. We are saved by grace… completely apart from anything we do or don’t do. So, why would Paul suggest there is a need to run the race at all? Just prior to the above verses, Paul suggests becoming all things to all people in order to win some over. So, it seems, it’s not about our eternal prize, but the salvation of others. So, here’s a couple questions to ask yourself… Now that I’ve completed the race, have I stopped running? Am I satisfied with just winning the prize for myself? If your answer is, “yes”, that’s okay… God still loves you! But God is inviting us to keep running… keep trying…because the eternal lives of other’s are at stake. They need to see and hear about the love of God… and God’s way to make that happen is how we live our very lives.

See you Sunday!