“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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” — 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Soccer looks easy, but it’s challenging. Goalkeepers are on the lookout for all attempts to score. Defenders also want to prevent goals by the other team. Midfielders work constantly to pass the ball to the forwards so that the forwards have a clear path to score goals. In order to win a match, it is important for each player to stay alert for their opportunities. The most talented team does not always win. Rather, the team that makes the most of its chances gets the victory.
If one team is apathetic or lazy, then the other team will usually win. Even though the Christian life is not the same as a contest, the Lord wants us to lead Godly lives. “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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
Jesus is not only our atoning sacrifice but also our ultimate example. His words and actions match perfectly. Though it is good for us to talk about faith, we should also put our faith into action. If we say we care but we do not follow up by doing something, then do we really care? That is the essence of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The religious leader spoke about loving God and people, but Jesus showed him that he mainly loved himself and wasn’t concerned about others.
After Jesus finished the story, he asked the self-absorbed religious leader which of the three people acted like a neighbor to the man lying on the side of the road bleeding. “The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise'” (Luke 10:37).
What about you? Are you making the most of your opportunities to show your faith by your actions?
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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