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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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March 1992

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 The Winter Olympics have come and gone. On television sets around the world people have watched young people live out their dreams of athletic glory. We have watched as some have risen out of nowhere to capture a medal in their chosen event. Still others have lived the "agony of defeat", as mental or physical mistakes have cost them their opportunity to receive the cheers of their fellow competitors. We have seen familiar names achieve in familiar events, while also seeing unknown athletes in unfamiliar events receive the same gold medal. Somewhere inside of us, we applaud these young men and women for having done what it takes to win, or even compete, in the Olympics.

 By the same token, Paul in Philippians 3:15 says,

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Paul here uses an athletic illustration. He says that God has something for him to do, and he's going to keep on working and serving until he accomplishes God's will for his life. In another passage of Scripture, Paul speaks of the great sacrifices that an athlete must make. He then says in I Corinthians 9:25,
"Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible."
Paul is telling us that if an athlete is willing to condition himself for years on end, and train in obscurity, and beat his body into subjection just to receive a medal that will someday tarnish and be destroyed, how much more should we who know Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour be willing to give up all that would hinder us, and go wherever 'He directs us, and do whatever He commands us, so that we might see the souls of men turned to God. Athletic awards, while nice, are temporal. Last years champions are barely remembered. But the spiritual rewards for faithful service to Christ last forever. To hear those words: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," will be worth all the Olympic medals ever given. As Paul says, "So run, that ye may obtain."

Pastor Mark Montgomery

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