www.herald-journal.com
The game that counts
August 27, 2012
by Pastor Doug Pierce, Lake Jennie Ev. Covenant Church, Dassel

This summer, it has been exciting to watch the Olympic Games in London. To see the happiness of people winning medals, to the sadness of those who tried hard and fell short – it was full of drama and excitement. And for the people involved, whether they win or lose, I am sure it creates a memory that will last a lifetime.

What most people have not thought about this summer is that they, too, are part of a competition – a competition that does not end in the awarding of medals, but rather involves the rewarding of life everlasting.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians’ chapter three, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

The apostle Paul lays out for us the glory of a life in Christ. We are saved by Christ, and our response is to live the life that Christ calls us to. Paul, in this passage, is not encouraging people to join the race, but rather to recognize that the goal of this race is achieved only at the end of our life. Therefore we must work to not become complacent, weary, burned out, or uncaring, but rather, as Paul says, to strain on to the goal.

The good news for us is the prize is not limited to gold, silver, or bronze, but rather, it is eternal life, and it is available to all who call upon Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. For in our life of faith, it is not the place we attain, but the persistence we show that grants us entry into God’s kingdom.

May God bless you as you persist in the life of faith!