Have you been watching the 2012 Summer Olympics in London? It takes dedication, training, and perseverance to become an Olympic athlete. These traits are also required of those who want to become closer to Jesus Christ! Paul wrote the following in a letter to the church at Corinth.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)
Did you notice Paul’s goal of preaching to others? Paul understood that the mindset of a winning athlete is vitally important for Christians. This mindset helps us to share the gospel with others. Paul was also motivated by a prize—the crown of righteousness. 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).
This year, Dr. David Crandal, of Answers Worldwide is leading an evangelistic team to share the gospel with others at the 2012 Olympics. You can be a part of this exciting ministry by praying for Dr. Crandall’s team, that God will give them special wisdom and skill as they share Christ with others.
Are you looking forward to Christ’s return? Do you want to receive a crown of righteousness? Jesus knows that none of us could earn this prize by ourselves, because we are all sinners. We could never be good enough for God because sin separates us from God. Thankfully, Jesus provided a way for us to appear righteous before God. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Christian, or about sharing the gospel with others, please read the Good News.