The Apostle Paul was well acquainted with sports, although he was raised as an Orthodox Jew, he was also born a Roman citizen living in Tarsus, and influenced by Greek culture, and the Olympic games (1 Cor.9). He saw the Christian life as a race for an eternal crown. He compared the Christian to an athlete who wanted to finish what he started, and to finish strong. As Christians, we all have our own race to run, and God has given to each of us certain gifts & callings. Hebrews 12 tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus for inspiration”. When we do, there will be a crown of righteousness waiting for us in heaven.
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Jesus warns Christians who are strong in their faith, to be careful not to do wrong to those brothers or sisters who are weak in their faith thereby causing them to stumble (1 Cor. 8). If my actions cause a Christian who is weak in faith, to stumble, then it is better for me to stop what I’m doing. For example; I personally don’t see anything wrong with eating BBQ pork. But I realize some weaker Christians feel that, because of their traditions, including the eating of pork, that to them eating BBQ pork is offensive. And so, even though I love the taste and smell of BBQ pork, it would not be worth it to me if one Christian brother or sister was stumbled if I ate BBQ pork.
Jesus tells us that many things can come into our lives & cause the Word of God to be unfruitful (Matt.13:1-23). The Bible often reminds us not to be worried or anxious about anything. However it is easy to get caught up in material things, and be worried, and distracted from the Life giving, Eternal, and Spiritual things of God. Christians can lose their joy and faith if they become so successful that their possessions begin to possess them. In Rev 3:14-22 Jesus tells us riches will be a problem for the church in the last days. This world has many distractions and we can’t afford to get sidetracked. The Family of God is there to help us learn to live according to The Bible. We have spiritual Fathers and Mothers that will come alongside to guide us and ‘sanctify’ us if we will just ask. And some of us are spiritual Fathers and Mothers called to come alongside if and when we are asked. (1 Cor.7)
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“Sinner, I know that you have thought of your sin as your own burden, and you have been trying to get free of its weight, but there is a true and a better view: Sin was laid on Jesus, and it made Him to be covered with the bloody sweat, it nailed Him to the cross, it made Him cry out “My God My God why have You Forsaken Me?” Our sins bowed Him into the dust of death. When you see the true view of your sin you will hate it, you will mourn it, but you will thank God you can be free of it” C.H. Spurgeon (1833-1892)