Winning Athletes February 28, 2024

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Champions are not afraid of conflict and labor while giving their best in competition. Very few athletes ever win by accident. Winning in the athletic world results from hard work, long hours of practice, and living a serious, disciplined life.

  • Winning athletes must enjoy the competition. They may not enjoy the daily grind of continuous preparation, but the thrill of putting their hard work to the test is rewarding.
  • Winning athletes must despise the thought of losing. No sportsperson I’ve ever met truly enjoys losing. The old saying, “second place is the first loser” haunts a winning athlete.
  • Winning athletes are disciplined. Their schedules are set to fuel the drive not drain the tank. Nutritional intake, sleep, and daily exercise are inspected weekly. Examinations are made to see where gains or losses have been made physically.

What about Victorious Christians? What do they do? How do they live? What fuels their passion?

  • Discipleship: learning and living.
  • Discipline: concentration and consecration.

These two truths from Scripture when obeyed bring about a dynamic difference in gospel work and lasting fruit. Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

We learn who Jesus is from the Bible and surrender to Him. We love Him and live for Him, therefore, the idea of sacrifice does not scare us. If we are not careful we will deny things and people as a substitute for denying ourselves. The “coming after Christ” is not a one-time experience; it is a way of life – as is the rest of the verse. Our learning more about Jesus must translate into our everyday life.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:1–3).

These verses sober the mind and challenge the heart. They help us concentrate on who Christ is, what He has done for us, and what He is doing for us right now. Our consecration to the Lord is helped by looking unto Jesus passionately and persistently, by laying aside every weight and sin. The athletes I know don’t invite hindering elements. They want them reduced. May our eyes of faith gaze beyond what seeks to hinder us and rest upon Jesus.

The words of Alan Redpath ring with clarity and accuracy, “The Victorious Christian life is not a theory to be admired, but a truth to be lived.”

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