Clinton church of Christ

Discipline

February 1, 2010

Blake Watson

It might have escaped your notice, as it nearly did mine, but the Winter Olympics will be starting soon. No doubt those who watch the games will see many athletes perform at high levels and make incredibly difficult things look easy.

How do they do that? The answer is simple. They practice, practice and practice some more. By the time the Olympics come they are showcasing talent that has been produced by years of hard work. You will not find a single participant in the games who started training only a week before arriving in Vancouver. They can make it look easy because they are prepared.

That preparation takes discipline. Their discipline can serve as a reminder of the discipline we should have as Christians. Paul, who often alluded to athletics in his writing, said “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” (1 Corinthians 9:25; NKJV).

Notice Paul’s point in that verse. Athletes go to great lengths to make sure they are in peak condition when they compete for their victory crown. They are careful about what they eat, how they train and what they do. They go to those lengths because they seek a crown; even though that crown is temporary. It is physical and one day will go the way of all the earth: it will perish.

The race we are running is the Christian race. We are on our way to Heaven and an incorruptible crown that awaits us there. If a gold medal is enough to motivate thousands of athletes to do all they can to be in peak fitness, how can Heaven fail to inspire us?

May we remember the encouraging words of the Hebrews writer: “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1b; NKJV).

Our crown will be eternal, but we will not receive it without discipline. “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27; NKJV).

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Morals.

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