Let us throw off everything that hinders ... and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
An athletic trainer tells us that there are many differences between winners and losers. Physical condition, hard training, mental attitudes -- all of these are important factors. But more important than all of these is the will to win. Without that there is not much hope of developing a winner.
The apostle Paul seems to have followed the games of his day very carefully. He knew the language of the sports world, and he probably noticed that where the competitors were fairly evenly matched, the prize went to the one who really wanted to win, whose heart was set on victory.
This is what we are to do in the race of life. We are to persevere. We are not to let any side issues take our minds off what we are to become as Christians, as followers of Christ. All kinds of tempting offers come to us, and we are inclined to take a short run down the alley where riches are the prize or up the canyon where fame is offered. All of this throws us off our stride. We have only one prize and goal, to live in the Word of God and the sacraments we become more and more like Christ and finally win the victory, eternal life.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, as we run the race before us, give us Your strength and desire to reach the heavenly goal. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)