Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jesus is the Key to Winning “the Gold.”

          In Sochi Russia, athletes from countries all over the world have come to compete in winter sports.  Most are young. Some are older. All are the best at what they do. Getting to the Olympics, for most athletes, requires a life of sacrifice and hard work. Between the work-outs, training, and competing, athletes work long and hard to get their chance to win the gold. That’s the goal of the Olympic athletes - win a medal, gold, silver, or bronze, preferably gold. They want to do the best they can and hope that it is good enough to win one of the coveted medals. Along with it, would come the satisfaction and pride of a job well done, the glory of being number one.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all striving for something. It is likely not an Olympic gold medal but something much closer to our grasp. It might be gold in the form of money, success, or worldly possessions.  Our goal might be to retire early and comfortably. We might wish to travel the world and see exotic places.  Or our goal may be simply to have the good life – good friends, good health, and a loving family. We all have our goals in life. We may pursue them vigorously or let things just happen but we have goals none the less.
As a child of God, we have many spiritual goal as well. These goals are much more important than money, retirement plans, or even our health.  Our goal as God’s child is to live a righteous and holy life. It is a goal that is unattainable until we are freed from the sinful nature that clings to us. Our goal is to worship our Lord, to love our neighbor as our self, and so on. We may not succeed in reaching these goals here and now, as God’s child we embrace them.
There is another goal that we have which we would call “A Spiritual God Medal”. That goal is to spend eternity in heaven with our Lord. From John 3:16 we learn how this goal is reached. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” Now that is a goal worth pursing! Unlike the Olympic gold medals which can only be given to one person or one team in each event, this prize is available to all. When Jesus died on the cross, he took away the sins of the whole world.
God wants us to put our faith, our trust in Jesus as our Savior from sin and remain faithful to him until our life on this earth is over.  That’s when we, as God’s children, can claim the prize – the gift of eternal life. It’s a reward that is not based on our works, how good or bad we have been.  The Bible states clearly that we are sinners. Salvation is a gift from God.
If everyone could walk away from the Olympics with a gold medal, there would be little interest in pursuing such a goal. How different with salvation!  Oh, that all would seek out the Lord Jesus as their Savior and put their trust in him.  And let us, who know him, remain faithful until the end and we will receive the “Crown of Life” (Rev 2:10).