Go For Gold!

The Olympics have recently ended.  Anyone who was able to be a participant can rightfully be proud of the title “Olympic Athlete”.  It is even better to be one of the top-ten.  Still better is to have achieved a medal.  To be on the platform receiving a medal is every athlete’s dream…well of course, if you are going to dream, your dreams are probably of winning the gold.

I.  II Timothy 2: 14-22  Go for the Gold!

14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for [a]it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their [b]talk will spread like [c]gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “ The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “ Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”

20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

From these scriptures we are given the knowledge that there might be degrees of reward in heaven.  Don’t get me wrong, there is no bad place in heaven, it’s all good, but their does seem to be the implication that our rewards in heaven might not be equal.  Let us ‘go for the gold’ and be the very best Christian that we are capable of being, not to earn our salvation, but to be pleasing to our Father in heaven.

First, we should seek to know scripture.  There are people who teach all kinds of things and we need to regularly read and study the Word so that we are not mislead and so that we can help others in their Christian journey.

Second, we should depart from sin.  This entails that we be able to recognize sin, and choose to do what is right.  God will give us the necessary wisdom and strength to forsake sin and pursue righteousness.

Third, we should serve the Lord.  Our lives are not meant to be lived for our own pleasure but for the service of God.  Although in serving God, we will find true joy.

II.  II Timothy 3:1-5 Don’t be Mislead!

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, [a] haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [b] godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Many people call themselves Christian.  Not all follow Christ.  The power of Christ is able to change us.  We should not remain in our sins with the disclaimer ‘I’m only human’.  We have the Spirit of God dwelling in our hearts, we are able to live victoriously.  We are able to be the people who God calls us to be, not because we are good, but because God is good.  We should pursue holiness, godliness, and righteousness, in thought, word and deed.

III.  II Timothy 4:7-8  Finish Strong!

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Paul wrote this letter at the end of his life.  He looked back over his years of service to the Lord and could say with confidence that he had finished the course.  We too, should seek to finish the race that God has for us.   The Christian life is not about a single moment when we give our hearts to the Lord, but rather it is about the life that we live, after we have become believers.

Let’s go for the gold!

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