The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/13/2008

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About Winning

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do; Forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ" (Phil.3:14).

Have any of you been watching the Olympics from Beijing, China? To me the story of these games are about Michael Phelps the swimmer, who as of yesterday has won more gold medals than any other Olympian. For years to come however, the event that will be talked about and replayed again and again will be the 4/100 meter freestyle relay this past Monday morning. It will not be about Michael Phelps though. It will be all about Jason Lezak, the oldest man (32) on the men's swim team. Swimming the anchor leg, Lezak was almost a body length behind with 50 meters left in the race. At this level of competition, in this race, that deficit is just about insurmountable. Lezak made up the distance and won on the last stroke, reaching the wall .08 seconds ahead of the French competitor. The stuff legends are made of!!

As I watched and later mulled it over, why did I think of Phil. 3:14? If any of you are athletes, or you know something about athletic competition, you know that training and preparing for many days is necessary. How can one expect to compete successfully in an activity if they do not spend a lot of time practicing and preparing? Did Tiger Woods get that "good" just by accident?

Here in the 3rd chapter of Philippians, Paul gives us some solid instructions on how to run and win the "Christian race." Notice the description. He encouraged the Philippians to compare the efforts they were making toward the goal of Christ, not to one another (3:12-13). He encouraged them to develop an intense focus on running the Christian race (v13). Running this race requires that we drop some things and forget them in order to focus more fully on Christ. This determination causes us to press on toward the goal (v14). We have been given the instructions for running the Christian race in God's Word (vs15-16). This is the one standard that we can cling to as our source of authority and direction.

My guess is, that as I watch that relay race in the future the I will think, "Forgetting what is behind and straining for what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize." It is VERY GOOD ADVICE.

Have a great day...Let your light shine for Him....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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