Open/Close Menu Making Disciples of All Nations

Recently the very exciting and captivating Summer Olympic Games were held, which brought together men and women from all nations in a colourful carnival of celebration and competition.

While the Olympics pit nation against nation, in Christ we are all on the same team.

1 Corinthians 9:24 – 25 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

We in God’s kingdom are “disciples of all nations”, from various cultural and language backgrounds, which all meet and mix in a dynamic way in the kingdom of God as we run the Christian race.

The Training – “Everyone … goes into strict training”.

Jesus wore the crown of thorns so that we can wear the crown that will last forever. The Cross is not an event to remember only on Sundays but a sacrifice to respond to every other day. The price that Jesus paid should motivate us to go into strict training, knowing that though we all are sinners; we can all be winners, through the blood of Christ.

Strict training involves continued, concerted, committed effort. Does this describe our approach to our walk with God? Do we make every effort to please God or simply try to walk with him casually?

Imagine how an athlete will perform if he simply tries to walk casually with David Rudisha in the 800 m?

The Coach – “Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

2 Timothy 3: 16, 17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The bible trains us in righteousness. Like an Olympic competitor, we need coaching. We need guidance and instruction about what to do and how to do it. That’s what a coach does. That’s what God’s word does. God coaches us through his Word. We are at our best when we allow God to coach us by studying his Word consistently.

Are you consistently making changes in your life based on what you study in the bible and what you hear preached from God’s word? Can you easily name one thing you have changed recently or are working on based on your personal study or a sermon you heard? God has called you, now let him coach you so that he can crown you.

The Competition – “Everyone who competes in the games …”

Competition is not easy. To make it you need teammates and training partners. You can’t make it alone. The disciples around you are your training partners. Great Britain’s Mo Farah came to Kenya to prepare for the summer Olympics in Kenyan conditions and with other training partners. He went on to amazingly win both the men’s 5,000 m. and 10,000 m. at the Games.

Are you seeking discipling and direction from disciples around you? Others see you better than you see yourself and can help you resist temptation, overcome sin and deal with weaknesses.

The Race – “In a race all the runners run.”

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Jesus spoke one language to all nations—the Language of Love. And this is the language for us to speak to each other. We are to lay down our lives for each other. The race is not easy, so disciples around you need your care, concern and compassion.

It is not enough to be on the same team as our mates, we must be there for our teammates. We are not running to compete with one another but to complete one another.

Consider who you will encourage and how you will do so. No-one of us can be there for everyone, but we can each be there for someone.

The Prize – “We do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Hebrews 12:2 ” fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”cross

For the joy set before us, the crown set ahead of us and the Spirit set inside of us, let us run the race.

While Olympic glory is all about what happens on the track, in the pool, on the pitch, or in the arena, winning the Christian race comes down to what happened on the Cross and what happens every day in our hearts and in our minds.

The Great RaceLet’s run to win the lost, walk to please the Lord and live to serve the church.

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