Week of February 4
Deeper, Richer, Stronger
By Skip Heitzig
The Olympic Games, whether in the summer or the winter, are a huge spectacle. Thousands of athletes from almost every country in the world vie for medals in a variety of events that call for strength, endurance, and precision. The Olympic motto--"Faster, Higher, Stronger"--certainly sums up the intense level of competition.
I think that motto, or something close to it, could be applied to the Christian life. Let's call it "Deeper, Richer, Stronger." Here's the deal. You cannot cruise in the Christian life. There's no neutral gear. You are either going forward or else you find yourself going backward. It's sort of like pedaling a bicycle uphill. The moment you stop and say, "This is hard work. I just want to put it in neutral and cruise," you'll go backward. So again, you are either growing deeper, becoming richer spiritually, becoming stronger than you were yesterday or last year, or the opposite—you're becoming shallower and poorer and weaker. There's no middle ground.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, once said, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
As Christians, we also want to "fight well." In one of the last things Paul wrote in this life, he said, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
But we are also called to be conquerors. "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). Where are we to conquer? Not on a speed-skating track or a 40-degree ski slope. We're to be conquerors over sin, in the face of tribulation, distress, persecution, etc. (see verse 35).
And there's another difference. Olympic athletes compete for the glory of their country, or for themselves. Christians struggle, fight, and conquer not for their own glory, but for the glory of Jesus Christ. "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We'll receive our reward from God "on that Day." But for right now, keep at it. Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Go "Deeper, Richer, Stronger."
Copyright © 2011 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.