Tuesday August 26,2008
The Olympic Games have just been completed in China. I, like many others, found myself staying up very late each night watching the games. I am sure we were all amazed by the accomplishments of the athletes and especially Michael Phelps. He won more Gold medals in one Olympic Games than any other person in the history of the modern games, eight gold medals. How does an athlete prepare for such a feat? There are many factors that go into such a performance; diet, workout schedule, rest, coaching and discipline. Take away any of these factors and I feel sure the results would have been much different. So, what do Olympic Athletes and Christians have in common? In order to live a victorious Christian life there are also many factors to be considered. I will discuss four. Leave any of these components out and it is difficult to live the Christian life in a consistent way. So what are these essential ingredients?
1. Bible Study: II Timothy 2:15; 3:16 The Bible is God's manual for daily living. If we were going to be a lawyer we would read law books. If our goal was to be an M.D. we would spend a great deal of time reading medical books. So if we intend to live our lives in a manner that would be pleasing to our Creator don't you think it would be important to read His Word to us on life.
2. Prayer: Luke 11:1; I Thessalonians 5:17 The Disciples only asked Jesus to teach them how to do one thing and that was pray. We are encouraged to do it without ceasing. If we want to get to know someone it is important to spend time with them. Through reading God's Word and Communicating through Prayer we begin to understand God much better and discern His plans for our life.
3. Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25 People come together in all kinds of groups. We do it for friendship, love, entertainment, encouragement, companionship. God wants us to spend time with other Christians. We can encourage and be encouraged. We need this social interaction for many reasons. That is why God encourages us not to forsake assembling ourselves together.
4. Witnessing: Acts1:8 Matthew 28:19,20 We are commanded to go out and as we are going to share our faith with others, in love. Christ came to reach the lost and He left us specific instructions on continuing that mission. Many folks one they have found Christ feel comfortable knowing they have eternal life. How can we feel comfortable knowing so many others don't have it.
It has been my experience if a Christian practices these four disciplines consistently they are able to stay close to God and reflect His nature on a daily basis. The further we drift from the source of our strength the weaker we become. The athletes of the Olympic Games compete for a prize and records that will eventually Fade and Fall. We compete for a prize that is Eternal. Shouldn't we be at least as committed to our calling as they are to theirs?