Part of being an athlete is having the ability to endure and not give in. We are saved by grace, through faith, and are eternally secure in Jesus’ hand (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 6:39–40). Yet we are also called to ” … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure salvation” (Philippians 2:12–13). Salvation is a work of God, but it is a transformational work that ushers us into a new life in which we are called upon to stand firm and endure (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 16:13). We remain faithful in the midst of trial (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12–13; John 16:33). We stand against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:10–18; 1 John 3:16–18; 4:7–8). We battle against our own sinfulness (Galatians 5:1). We press on in doing good works out of love (Galatians 6:7–10). In 1 Timothy 6:18–19 Paul instructs the rich not to be haughty or strive for riches but, “to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” As athletes spend themselves toward the goal of Olympics medals, Christians spend themselves with the understanding that our prize is heavenly. It is love for our Lord Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in us that give us both the desire and ability to keep the eternal goal in mind and lay up our treasures in heaven.
WE MUST FINISH THE RACE!
Take courage, fainting Christians: you are encompassed with a great cloud of witnesses! The race that you are running has been run by millions before; you think that no one ever had such trials as yourself—but every step that you are journeying has been safely walked by others; the valley of the shadow of death has been securely passed by a multitude of trembling, doubting ones like yourself. They had their fears and anxieties, like you—but they were not cast away. The world, the flesh and the devil can never overwhelm the weakest person who will set their face towards God. These millions journeyed on in bitterness and tears like your own, and yet not one perished—they all reached their eternal home.
~J. C. Ryle~
“For you will certainly carry out God’s purpose, however, you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
This might seem daunting, but those who believe in Jesus have the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit as well as the fellowship of other believers to encourage us in our race (Hebrews 10:24–25). The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the things of God and to increase in love for Him (John 14:16–17). Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:23). Fellow believers, much like fellow athletes, can encourage us in our Christian faith. We are judged for our own works, much like Olympians in solo sports. Yet we live our lives with a “team,” much like Olympians have the support of coaches, other athletes, fans, and more to support them. Our “team” is the body of Christ, a family into which we are adopted when we become children of God through faith in Jesus (John 1:12).
We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair;
Conservative Christian World News
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28.)
John Wesley who said that what we tolerate in our generation, will be embraced by the next. Wesley is 100% correct! We are living in sick times.
Usually, the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
They perverted justice among themselves (v. 7): “You turn judgment to wormwood, that is, you make your administrations of justice bitter and nauseous, and highly displeasing both to God and man.’’ That fruit has become a weed, a weed in the garden; as nothing is more venerable, nothing more valuable, than justice duly administered, so nothing is more hurtful, nothing more abominable, than designedly doing wrong under color and pretense of doing right. Corruptio optimi est pessima —The best, when corrupted, becomes the worst.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
2 Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
“Pedophile” has reverberated throughout America. But beneath our anger and revulsion, a fundamental question pulsates: Are those who abuse their positions of trust to prey upon children—a category certainly not limited to those in religious orders—sick … or are they evil? We need the answer to that fundamental question. Because, without the truth, we cannot act. And until we act, nothing will change.
My job is protecting children. It has taken me from big cities to rural outposts, from ghettos to penthouses, and from courtrooms, into demonic battlefields. But whatever the venue, the truth remains constant: Some humans intentionally hurt children. They commit unspeakable acts—for their pleasure, their profit, or both.
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