Sunday, August 12, 2012
With the Summer Olympics games just about behind us I thought of the immense amount of training these athletes have to do to get to the games in the first place and then hopefully onto the medal podium. Each athlete has to be dedicated to getting up and not just running for one hour and hitting the gym but they do their workouts and training several hours a day. I love to figure skate and have not done it much lately but when we lived in Iowa the skating director there had been one of the 3 men on the US Winter Olympic Figure Skating Team in 1984 along with Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano. His name is Mark Cockerell. He had serious skaters coming to train with him. These young children were serious about trying to 'make it' and some even drove a few hours to train with him. The money, the time, the commitment, and the training are all important keys to having a chance at going further than your hometown. We have also visited the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs where athletes go to train. It is a former military base now turned into a training center and is open for tours for the public. You can see the dedication of these athletes.
Just as an athlete has to be disciplined to get in shape by watching what they eat, getting rest, and working out so too if you expect to have a strong walk with the Lord you can not just go to church one hour on Sunday and open the Bible when the pastor says to and then leave it collecting dust on a table at home all week long. Why is it though than many seemingly do this? Loving Jesus and being moral takes more than one hour on Sunday. Similar to an athlete you too have to train yourself to godliness. The Bible even speaks of this.
2 Timothy 2:15 reminds us "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Just like students in school have to study to pass their exams we as believers need to study the Bible to know how to cope with things that happen in life and how to be more like Jesus in what we say and do. Just imagine you get a board game and have not a clue how to play it. If you do not read the directions you will not play it. You have to know what to do. In life we have to know how to resist the attacks of our enemy Satan. Satan loves the kind of believers who feel Sunday is enough. He has them in his corner in a way. There is no desire to learn about Jesus and they feel smug in their daily life of goodness without so much as cracking open a Bible but then problems and struggles arise and they have not a clue in how to gain strength to get through it. Your source of empowerment is the word of God. Do not wait til a tragedy to get into it. Start each day by opening the Bible and reading. If you don't know where to start begin in the book of John.
Run your race to win by keeping in the word of God. It takes daily discipline. Put it on your daily 'to do' calendar and put it at top of list. Make this serious time with God. Do not put him down on list if you have time left over. He should be your first priority. And speaking of discipline Hebrews 12:11 says "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Titus 2:12 says "training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age." The Bible is our training manual. It is our guidebook. It should never be put on a shelf or you should never have to go search for it. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
So as the Olympics winds down and you have marvelled at the athletes feats of these athletes think about how powerful for God you could be if only you daily got into his work and trained for godliness.
PRAYER: Lord thank you for the Bible. We are blessed in America to open it freely without arrest as in some nations it is illegal. Evil does not like the goodness of God or his word and would like to snuff it out. Help me Lord to read and study it daily to strengthen my walk with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.