Yesterday morning while driving through town I noticed a group of young girls running on the sidewalk. On the way back I saw them again, this time running across the parking lot of the local frozen custard shop. They are members of our local high school cross country track team and I guess it was time for a rest and some refreshment. They are a great bunch of youngsters, friendly, engaging but fearlessly competitive.
Listen to Paul’s instructive words regarding self discipline,
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
I believe Paul is writing to the Church in Corinth to remind the members to live a life pleasing to the Father and receive the prize of eternity with Him. Earthly runners train hard for a race but only one can be declared the winner. Heavenly runners also focus, sometimes over a lifetime, and prayerfully fall into the Father’s open arms after passing through the narrow gate. These heavenly runners have no need to sprint to be the first to break the heavenly tape as their final position has already been decided.
Listen as Jesus describes what happens at the eternal finish line,
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7: 13-14
I can just hear the throng of believers on the holy side cheering for those entering on the narrow road and through the small gate. They jump up and down with excitement as each new member reaches their stated goal. And remember the thousands of angelic choirs singing the welcoming hymns to the accepted.
What a moment!
Read 2 Timothy 4:7-8.