Daily Devotional for Tuesday October 4, 2005
Competing for Christ
(1 Corinthians 9:24; Galatians 5:7; Philippians 3:14; 2 Timothy 4:7,8)
This is a special time of year for baseball fans as the playoffs begin. There is something special about the playoffs that will culminate in this year's World Series. For the 2 1/2 - 3 hours a game lasts, the players are competing, using their God-given talents and abilities to try and help their team win. We are also in the middle of the college and professional football seasons. Each weekend on gridirons around the nation, football players are competing while their fans cheer them on to victory. As I was watching a few baseball and football games this past weekend, I began thinking about another sports fan, Paul.
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. This weekend I saw another analogy that I am sure Paul did as well. 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 USE ALL OF HIS TALENTS AND ABILITIES TO WIN A GAME, HOW MUCH MORE SHOULD A CHILD OF GOD USE THEIR TALENTS AND ABILITIES TO SERVE OUR LORD?
Let me challenge you today my friend. 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, what the servant of God does is important for eternity!!!
I want you to 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 scoring the winning touchdown 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.
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today to NEVER forget how important what you do for Christ each day really is. 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. 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 an angelic host rooting you on and Jesus is on His throne waiting to welcome you into Glory when your race is finished!