"If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5).
For the past couple of days we have been considering the call that is upon our lives to conduct ourselves as champions; to stand in the power given to us in Christ and defeat anything that tries to make us less than what God wants us to be. Today we will look at the third fact about our Olympic championship.
Fact #3 -- There is a Goal Toward Which We Press
"Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (I Timothy 4:7-8).
Train yourself to be godly. The word train means "to exercise naked" -- as the Greek athletes. The idea here is the removing of any encumbrance, as well as the disrobing of all pretense.
Notice also that he places the emphasis on personal responsibility -- train yourself. Far too many in today's world are living like bottom feeders in a pond, waiting for the farmer to dole out today's portion of grub. Life's best and highest moments are for those who show initiative in the things that truly matter. Train yourself.
And then he gives us the object of our training -- to be godly. In other words, to become like Jesus. Not imitation, but indwelling; Christ in us, making Himself known through us. YOu don't need to ask, "What would Jesus do?" -- and then try to do it yourself. No; rather yield your life to the Lord in every situation so that He Himself can do what He does through you. That;s the goal.
As Champions, we press on with relentless intensity toward the goal of becoming like Christ in our Character, our Conduct and our Conversation. For such a life holds great promise not only for the time we spend here on earth, but also deep into eternity as well.