Running the Race of a Lifetime
Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
As Christians we are in a race. I've heard one pastor say that God created the Olympics and athletes as to point to the disciplines of spiritual realities. The Christian's race is that of a spiritual nature as opposed to that which we can see in the natural realm. It is also of eternal significance for ourselves and others. Athletes that just discipline their bodies, do so as only to win something perishing....those who undergo spiritual discipline do so to win something eternal as 1 Corinthians 9:25 tells us: "All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize." What a staggering concept that with and in Christ we can make an eternal difference, do some eternal good through our deeds and prayers that will last forever. Can one even fathom the concept of the eternal and forever? Only if people took eternal realities seriously, how wise and diligent would become in attaining eternal wealth. Olympic athletes that only go after the here and now end up with a medal that more than likely just ends up in their sock drawer and a name that is eventually forgotten, those who serve and honor Christ are remembered for all eternity no matter how much the world has despised them.... I can imagine some of the most eternally wealthy, and I mean forever wealthy people in the world right now are the most ill-treated poverty stricken persecuted people on the earth. Just take 1 Corinthians 4:13 :"when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world." A good example of this would be a North Korean Christian ending up in one their slave camps for their faith, enduring unspeakable tortures. Now I imagine a faithful Christian in this situation to have immense eternal wealth in Jesus Christ, more so than others. Each star differs in size and brightness/glory and I believe in heaven so will the saints depending on how faithful they were to Jesus Christ down here.