2 Timothy 2 verse 5:
“Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules”.
In harmony with the image of the conflict and the race, the crown here is not the emblem of sovereignty, but of victory. The reward then which is meant by the emblem comes through effort and conflict. We are not crowned, except we take part.
The Christian life is one of service, we need to enter the Newness of Life by accepting all that Our Lord and Our Friend won on the cross for us. By entering the new life there must be advancement in our lives, like a long distance athlete, running toward the winners crown.
As an athlete will tell you, they prepare for the long haul, and they need to put in effort and accept there will be conflict along the way. Four disciplines that will help us, on our way.
Don’t be complacent.
Depend upon God’s mercy and Grace.
Humility in attitude.
Contrite faith in God.
If we can humbly say, ‘For me to live is Christ’, then it is well, no matter what we go through, we belong to Him.
Hebrews 12 verse 1 and 2 tells us:
V1: “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us”.
V2: “keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne”.
Let look at the joy that is set before us, and run our race through this life, that finishes with a crown of Glory, in Our Lord and Our Friend’s eternal Kingdom.