Monday, August 22, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, August 22, 2016

Going For the Gold

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have ended and we witnessed the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. The Huffington Post August 21, 2016 issue featured Great Britain’s Lutalo Muhammad, who lost the gold medal in taekwondo. He cried, “I’m so distraught to be on the losing end here…I have to wait four years for another chance.” He broke into tears before he could finish the sentence. This was an agonizing interview. It was obvious that he had sacrificed, pushed himself to the limit, willed himself not to give up, but then to his dismay only got the silver medal.  That same story could be told countless time when people set lofty goals in their lives, struggle to accomplish them and ultimately fail. 

It is sad to know that there can only be one winner for these temporary goals (1 Corinthians 9:24). Nevertheless, there is another much more important struggle that we can fight and win (1 Corinthians 9:25).  We are not fighting against other human contestants, but we are fighting against powerful demonic spirits who are fighting to the death (Ephesians 6:12, 13).  Thank God He gives us mighty weapons in our struggle to defeat any spirit who opposes God (2 Corinthians 10:4).  We can pray, we can quote the Bible, and we can command devils in the Name of Jesus.

Our struggle has eternal implications, but God says that since we have Him on our side, we will always win (Romans 8:31).  We will not come in second place.  Instead, we will always be victorious in our struggle and end up with the gold (Job 23:10).  The 2016 Rio Olympics has ended, but remember that our battle goes on and we must continue to fight the winning fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).  We win!!

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
New International Version (NIV)
24 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.
25 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.

Ephesians 6:12, 13
New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

2 Corinthians 10:4
New International Version (NIV)
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

Romans 8:31
New International Version (NIV)
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Job 23:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

1 Timothy 6:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

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