Many have spent the last two weeks glued to their TV sets watching the Olympic games in Japan. The apostle Paul was familiar with the games of his day. But he was not just a passive observer. He used what he saw to present some practical truth to his hearers.
In this illustration, he likens the Christian life to a race. Elsewhere he presents Jesus as the starting line and the finishing point and encourages his listeners to “lay aside every weight” [Hebrews 12:1] so that they may finish their course with joy. Here he gives further guidance as to how the race should be run.
In an earthly race, there may be many competitors, but only one winner. Often athletes, while they would like to win, are content just to place well. In other words, they have not really put theirs all into the task of winning. Paul warns the Christian to serve Christ with such dedication that the “Well done” from the Lord’s lips is primary.
The one who will thus succeed must be “temperate in all things” [v25]. All his energies will be brought into subjection to the one great aim of serving and exalting Christ. He will not run the race uncertainly. He will start well, and his eye will be on the finish line. People will know he is an out-and-out Christian. He will finish well.
In the battle for truth, he will not be “as one that beateth the air” [v26] – all action but with little forward movement. The true athlete has an economy and efficiency of movement so that all his power is channelled towards winning the race. May God help us not to spin our wheels and beat the air, producing lots of noise and action, but at the end of the day achieving little for the Lord.
The sympathy of the Toronto church goes out to Ann and Alan Rogerson. Ann’s mother Vera, who was 93, passed away on Friday, August 6 after a considerable time of ill health. The funeral was on Tuesday and was conducted by Dr. Larry Saunders. We are praying for Ann and Alan and their family that the Lord will sustain them during this difficult time.
EX-GOVERNOR CUOMO IN MORE TROUBLE
In Bits & Pieces #s 7 and 56 we reported on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The New York state Covid numbers were slightly down. Cuomo arrogantly said, “this number is down because we brought the number down; God did not do it.” We know now how he did it – he fudged the numbers!
A recent investigative report accused Cuomo of sexual impropriety involving eleven women. He clung to power as long as he could while his own Democratic colleagues, including President Biden, howled for his resignation. Under pressure, Cuomo finally had to quit. The Bible is right, “Be sure your sin will find you out”[Numbers 32:23]. His biggest mistake? He thought he was bigger than God.
Every so often in life, you will meet someone who greatly exemplifies the Lord Jesus, a giant Christian endowed with a very humble soul. Such was taken from us on Friday when Dr. Ed. Panosian passed away. Born of Armenian parents in Elmira, N.Y., he entered Bob Jones University where he lectured on Reformation Church history for over fifty years. He was 91.
He travelled widely delivering his popular verbal impressions of famous reformers such as Martin Luther and C.H. Spurgeon He visited the Toronto church on several occasions. He was a member of Faith FPC in Greenville. Our sympathy goes out to his family. A great man has been taken from us. We shall miss his wonderful voice.
HOW NOT TO PRAY
When the disciples came to Christ to ask Him to teach them to pray, He started by warning them how not to pray [Matthew 6:5-7].
They were not to pray like the hypocrites. Hypocrites are ‘play-actors.’ They used prayer in public places such as synagogues and the steps of the temple as a means of self-promotion. They were not real but fake.
They were not to pray like the heathen. Their prayers were made up of mindless repetitions, believing they will be heard for the quantity of their words. D.L. Moody said, “Most men’s prayers should be cut off at both ends and set on fire in the middle.” Sadly, even the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray has in many churches degenerated to the level of empty words. Prayer becomes a vain repetition if it is not accompanied with a heart to do God’s will, and with an eye single to His glory. Let us not pray like hypocrites or heathens. [From an article by Dr. Stanley Barnes].