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February 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics are about to start.  Athletes from all over the world will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea to compete for Olympic gold.  These athletes have spent years preparing themselves for this occasion. They spend countless hours training, pushing themselves to be the best possible.  As the world watches, they will put their skills, hard-work and dedication to the test.  The games begin February 9th with curling and ski jumping then ending on February 25 with the hockey gold medal game.  Some athletes will celebrate dreams coming true, while others will leave in disappointment.

I remember as a child watching the Olympics for the first time.  My brothers and I would go outside and pretend that we were competing in the events.  We would sled down the hill behind our house and pretend we were the American bobsled team.  We would shovel the snow off the ice and play hockey.  In our game the USA always beat the Russians.  In our version of the Olympics, we always won gold.

Spiritually, the Bible teaches that we should prepare ourselves to reach for the prize.  For us it isn’t a medal at the Olympics, but the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  We should be spending time preparing ourselves for the things that God would have for us.  Going to church, studying the Bible, prayer, fellowship with other Christians are some of the things that God uses to prepare us for His ministry.  Just like the Olympians work hard to succeed at their respective events, we need to work hard to succeed in the work God has called us to.  Living the Christian life requires dedication, hard-work and discipline.

Instead of putting forth the effort required, many Christians treat living for God like my brothers and I treated the Olympics.  Just head out, do a couple of things, and pretend like we are having success.  No real effort, no real motivation, and no real reward.  Just going through some motions, having some fun, and calling it good.  This is not the life that God intends for us.

Going for the gold is living a life that strives for the best.  In our Christian life, we should be striving for the best God has for us instead of just going through the motions of Christianity.  Olympic athletes prepare themselves to compete.  Then they put into practice what they have prepared to do. How do we prepare ourselves to live for Christ?  Then do we put that into practice in our lives?



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