Imagine if you were selected to participate in the Olympics. You received a call from the Olympic committee who through their records determined you were the most qualified to win a gold medal in the marathon. This is your chance. You picture yourself walking through the opening ceremonies with the most elite athletes in the world, waving to the crowds, and accepting your medal. In your head, you hear the National Anthem being played and know, without a doubt, this is your destiny.

But then reality sets in. You can't run a marathon right now. You haven't trained. Even if you tried REALLY REALLY hard, the best you might do is crawl through the finish line. You can't even remember the last time you ran around the block, let alone around a city! In order to run the marathon you will have to turn your life around. You will have to enter into a life of strict and disciplined training. You will have to sacrifice. No matter how hard you try, you must train to be successful.

The Christian life is the same. We can try really hard to be Christians, but in the end unless we are training you cannot finish strong. It is important in life to study the Bible, pray, endure through hard times, seek God's wisdom, learn, grow and sacrifice. It is all a part of training. Christians do this for the eternal prize from heaven with God. It is important to fix our eyes on Jesus' example of living faith.

"All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified" (1 Corinthians 9:25-27). Each day you must chose to train.


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