Compete to Win

By June 11, 2024Eternity, Galatians

The 2024 Summer Olympics is being held in Paris this July.

What is the goal of the summer Olympians? It is to win the gold.

How about us? Just like the summer Olympians, our goal is to win!

Paul tells us that there are 3 characteristics of gold medal winners in 1 Cor. 9:24-27:

1. THEY RUN THE CHRISTIAN RACE TO WIN: (vs. 24) “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.”

We run to win by not getting all wrapped up in this life, but by living for eternal values, for which we will be rewarded in heaven.

We need to tap into Christ’s strength. as we go for the gold.

2. THEY ARE ALWAYS IN TRAINING: (vs. 25-26) “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;”

If an Olympic athlete wants to win a gold medal, they have to restrict themselves in all things: diet, activities, associations and probably their friends.

As Christian athletes, we are competing in a race that requires self-control, if we are going to win rewards.

The word “self-control” literally means “to have power over oneself” and is a fruit of the Spirit.

How do we keep “self” in control? By yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to refuse to indulge in sin or to act impulsively.

We are to rivet our eyes on Jesus as we run the race.

We should refuse to allow anyone or anything to distract us from our training to be like Jesus.

He should be No. 1 in our life, and if He isn’t, then pride, discouragement, desire for praise, hurt feelings, and sin can incapacitate us.

What are we living for, the temporal or the eternal?

3. THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE: (vs. 27) but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

If an Olympic athlete wants to go after the gold, he has to master his own body.

The idea in this verse is to beat the body into spiritual subjection, through the power of the Holy Spirit, when the power of sin seeks to express itself through our body.

Is the Holy Spirit our master or is our flesh our master?

What may keep us from future reward?

Are we living by our feelings?

Are we caught up with a desire for power, prestige and influence or making a name for ourselves?

Are we absorbed in the things of this life and overly attracted to them?

If we are going to win the imperishable prize, we have to follow the Word and live by the Holy Spirit’s power.

In Paris, each athlete is going for the gold, so should we!

Pastor Ken Keeler