Competing For Christ
But Are You Participating?

For a sports fan, there is always a special time of year for viewing and rooting for a team.
It might be the play-offs or struggling to get to the play-offs.
It might be the finals or championship that gets one interested and excited.
For the 2 1/2 - 3 hours these critical games last, the players are competing, using their God-given talents and abilities to try and help their team win.
Each week in high school, college, and professional stadiums around the nation, people are competing while their fans cheer them on.

Sporting Competition
Let’s make a spiritual application:
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
“You were running well, who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7).
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and no only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing”(2 Timothy 4:7,8).
“And also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules”(2 Timothy 2:5).
Paul made several analogies between the Christian life and sports in his writings.
Most had to do with the training an athlete undergoes in preparing to compete.
During the course of the game, these athletes are competing, using every bit of their talents and abilities to do the best they can.
As the game goes on, some step up and perform heroically helping their team to win.


If an athlete can go out and train, practice for endless hours perfecting their skills, go out on the day of a game and give everything they have to win a game that in light of eternity is meaningless,
the child of God should train harder, practice harder, and never give less than everything we have since those people we reach for Christ can escape everlasting separation from God and enjoy eternity with Him.
The performance of an athlete during a game may determine who wins and loses that game,
but the performance of those who serve the Lord can determine if a person spends eternity with the Lord or is forever separated from Him.
While what that athlete does may be important for that moment or season,
what the servant of God does is important for eternity!!!
We should understand today that what you do for the Lord has eternal significance.
The way you live your life each day, sharing your faith in Christ with others, allowing God to work through you to bless someone else is greater than hitting a home run in the World Series or throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
Even though star athletes get paid millions of dollars for what they do on the field, the child of God is paid in things more precious than silver and gold for what they do for the Lord.
You can't put a price on the peace and joy only God can give you.
You can't put a price on God's blessings.
God's rewards for those who are faithful in serving Him are greater than all the riches of this world.
NEVER forget how important these things you do for Christ really are.
And remember, everyday is GAMEDAY.
You may not be performing on prime time television, or be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but nothing any athlete does in their sport can compare to what you do when you are serving the Lord.
They are providing entertainment to those who they reach, you are providing the words of LIFE to those who you reach.
Even though man looks at the athlete as a hero, God looks at those who serve Him as a hero.
The next time you are watching a sporting event, enjoy the special talents of those who are playing the game.
But never forget God has given you special talents too.
He has given every one of His children gifts and talents to serve Him with.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:...” (Romans 12:6).
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 5:10).
Exercise your gifts and use your talents to share the hope and love of Christ with the lost and hurting in your life.

There may not be a stadium full of people cheering as you faithfully serve our Lord, but there is a God and an angelic host rooting you on and Jesus on His throne waiting to welcome you into glory when your race is finished!
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…..” (Hebrews 12:1,2).
This competing for Christ will continue, and we are to be His champions.
“GAME ON!!!”

By Carey Scott based on an article by Bill Keller

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