Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Christian Lives Part 1: Running the Race

What if only one person could go to heaven? I mean, think about that. I was at a convention center this past week in Tennessee at a place called Polishing the Pulpit. For those of you who don't know what it is, basically it's a little taste of heaven. There were about 3,000 people there I think they said, and all day there are lectures from several wonderful Christian men and women. They have men's classes, women's classes, teen classes, preacher's classes, elder's classes, deacon's classes, youth minister's classes, basically, if it exists there's a class for it. Anyway, I was sitting in a class when a thought struck me, "What if only one person could go to heaven?" and then I realized that I probably wouldn't make it. Out of the billions upon billions of people who have lived, are living now, and will live, I don't think I'd make it with those odds! It'd probably be someone like Abraham or Paul or someone. Or if it were to be someone from my time it'd still probably be someone else. And then I thought about 1 Corinthians 9:24 which says, "Do you not know that in a race all runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."

     My brother used to be part of a track team. And he LOVED it. But every morning he'd get up at 6 am before school, run 1 or 2 miles, go to school, then go to practice and run even more. And in every track meet he was in he used all those hours of training and ran with his goal being first place just like everyone else. He didn't just think, "Well, I'm part of the race. That's good enough. If I get last place at least I did something." No! Why? Because he spent all that time training, and then of course he used it! That is exactly what this verse is talking about. That is how our Christian lives should be. We should study God's word daily, and live our lives like only one person can go to heaven. I'll tell you what, there are times when it's easy to forget about this verse and fall back. It can be easy to get tired or forget that we're in a race. Now this isn't saying that we need to try to be superior to everyone. But that we need to try to be as perfect as we possibly can so that we can obtain the prize when the race is over. Tomorrow I'll be talking about why we run the race, and how we can run the race for the wrong reasons. But today I want to encourage you to train for the race daily by reading your Bible, and to live in a way that if only one person could go to heaven, it'd be you. Because that is exactly what we're told to do here in 1 Corinthians 9:24.