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Go for the gold? (04/01/2007)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

Obviously the most longed-for or sought after prize of an Olympian is a gold medal at the Olympic Games...to stand atop the podium.

After someone wins an Olympic gold medal, he or she becomes an instant celebrity. Soon after the awards ceremony comes instant limelight - TV interviews, tributes, TV commercials, speaking engagements, autograph sessions, etc. Suddenly, they are recognized around the world, but even so, how long will this instant popularity last? Just a few weeks...months...years? How many of us can remember those who won gold medals even one Olympiad ago?

Olympian athletes are, undoubtedly, more dedicated than most other athletes and they give absolute allegiance to their profession. An Olympian's training schedule would seem very grueling to us. They are resolutely resolved to becoming just a tad better than the world's best.

How do Olympians achieve such an impressive goal? They do so by dedication, persistence and perseverance. They painstakingly train day after day, to achieve as near perfection as is possible to possess, until they have the ability to outdo or out perform the very best in the world.

We might ask, "What could be more meritorious than winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games?" Well, how about receiving crowns of righteousness, life and glory? These prizes (rewards) will never pass away...will never become but a memory. II Timothy 4:8 I Peter 5:4 James 1:12

The applause and recognition from man (for training strenuously for years) comes to a swift end. People soon forget the names and the great feats of the Olympians. However, God will never forget those who trained hard to become more and more like His Son, Jesus Christ. John 3:30 God's rewards for doing one's best for Christ, will last forever.

If we could weigh the value of an Olympic gold medal and God's eternal rewards, all the combined Olympians' medals would not even equal the weight of a speck of dust.

Since Olympians train as hard as they can just to be rewarded with a gold medal, wouldn't God expect these individuals to make their best effort at winning priceless rewards - eternal life and eternal rewards?

No, there is no question as to whom we should channel our ambition and energy to - it should be Christ. Our life's goal should be to conform to the likeness of Christ...to His characteristics. Philippians 2:5

If we choose to model Christ, God will give us immeasurably more than the sole prize of a gold medal. God's prize or reward is more precious than all the world's warehouses full of gold medals. God's reward cannot be compared.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, as long as Christ is not forgotten or put in second place. After all, what is lastingly more important - to model an athlete or Christ?

To provide our expression of love and devotion to God, we should always do our best in our walk for the Lord. Everyone should know that eternal rewards come from what we do for God, not man. This, that and the other (the gold, silver, and bronze medals) will pass away like wood, hay and stubble. I Corinthians 3:12-15 Will we ever hear, "Well done..." by casting a gold medal at the Lord's feet? Is dying life threatening? Matthew 25:21a

Should we go for Christ or should we go for the gold?

Ponder Philippians 3:13-14

P.S. "Only one life ‘twill soon be past.

Only what's done for Christ will last."



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