WALKING THE TALK

Posts tagged ‘Champions’

Winning the Race

 

Outline: Winning the Race

  • Who is in the race?
  • What is the race?
  • How do we run this race?
  • What is the prize?
  • Why do we need to run the race; do we have a choice?
  • What are the obstacles?
  • How do we overcome the obstacles; how can we be victorious

 

Who is in the Race?

Every Believer, every Born Again Christian has been placed in the race by our Lord Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour we become children of Almighty God and we are entered into the ‘race’

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
John 1 verse 12

“…and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”
Hebrews 12 verse 1

 

What is the Race?

As believers we are all running a race, a race to live a victorious Christian life.

The bible commands us to be Holy even as He is Holy… (1 Peter 1:16)

We are expected to be light in this dark and perverse world… (Philippians 2:15)

We are the only bible that many people have to read… (2 Corinthians 3:2)

We are to witness to others; we can only do this effectively if we ourselves are living victorious lives.

We are to follow in the steps of our Saviour, Jesus ran His own race, He went to the cross, our own race is to showcase His goodness to those around us.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Hebrews 12 verse 1-2

How do we run this Race?

We cannot run the race in our own strength, the bible tells us that without Jesus we can do nothing, so we need to depend on Him

There are rules and regulations guiding the race we are involved in and these are found in the Word of God.

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
2 Corinthians 2 verse 5

Some of the instructions are:

  • We must be Holy
  • We must be examples of the believer
  • We must keep our eyes on Jesus
  • We should not habitually sin
  • We must be malleable and flexible in God’s hands (Living sacrifice)

 

What is the Prize?

The prizes that we are competing for are crowns in heaven, commendation from Our Father and from Jesus (well done my good and faithful servant… Matthew 25:23)

“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”
1 Corinthians 9 verse 25

 

 

Why do we need to run this race; do we have a choice?

Jesus Himself has placed us in this race and just like He did the will of His Father while on earth we are required to do the will of our Saviour

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
John 5 verse 36

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
John 9 verse 4

There are so many people and beings watching us that it is imperative that we run a successful race and glorify our Saviour. We don’t have a choice, we are in the race and we must endeavour to run it victoriously.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12 verse 1- 2

 

What obstacles do we face as we run this race?

  • Sin
  • Our Flesh – we need to put our flesh under
  • Detractors – People who want us to take our eyes off the ball
  • Enemies – Satan and his cohorts
  • The cares of this world

 

How can we overcome the obstacles, how can we be victorious?

  • By drawing near to God (James 4:8)
  • By spending time in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • By spending quality time reading and studying the Word of God
  • (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)
  • By spending time in praise and worship (Psalm 34:1)
  • By spending time waiting on the Lord i.e. fasting (Matthew 17:21)
  • By spending time fellowshipping with other believers in a full-gospel church (Hebrews10:25)
  • By surrendering to the will and purpose of God for our lives (Psalm 40:8)
  • By disconnecting from people who hinder our walk with God (Psalm 1:1-2)
  • By having a heavenly focus (Matthew 6:33)

 

May we all be winners in Jesus Mighty Name!

You are the best 🙂 LolaA

INVICTUS

 

Maybe you have or haven’t heard of the Invictus Games. It’s a four day event presently taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London in the UK.

The international event for sick and injured servicemen and women from 13 nations is aimed at inspiring recovery and rehabilitation as well as highlighting the injuries of service.

The Games is the brainchild of Prince Henry of Wales aka Prince Harry who was inspired to create the Invictus Games after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado, an annual event aimed at rehabilitating injured US servicemen and women in 2013.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Games Prince Harry said:

“Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life-changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life-changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with 12 wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole. I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless.”

The Games is all about the service men and women who have decided to look their set-backs in the face and declare ‘you will not beat me, you will not hold me down, and you will not hold me in bondage’. ‘I will overcome you, I will conquer you!
Many have taken advantage of the modern day tools made available to them; wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs and for some their injuries are seemingly invisible, their minds being the battle grounds.

But competitive sport has given each of them a new purpose in life, inspiration to rise above their circumstances, to let go of what inhibits them and embrace their capabilities in a bit to excel in their chosen event. To push themselves to be the very best and then some!

The Games actually takes its name from a poem written by William Ernest Henley 1849–1903 an English poet.

 

Invictus

(By William Ernest Henley)

Out of the night that covers me,

      Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

      I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

      Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

      How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

      I am the captain of my soul.

 

Over 400 wounded, sick and injured personnel are taking part in these games, men and women who have decided to confront their ‘demons’ and take back their lives. Men and women who have decided to give life their best shot, they have decided to succeed and to excel.

If these men and women can do it then surely so can you and I and with Jesus living on the inside we have even more reason to overcome and partake in the victory march.

Our broken limbs, broken relationships, our wounded hearts and diverse impairments may seem life shattering, but if a double amputee can outrun many fully bodied contemporaries then we too must never give up.

For some their disabilities precede them wherever they go, for many of us we wrestle with them of a night-time alone on our beds. But whatever our own particular circumstance may be, there is someone who wants to stand alongside us and coach us on until we arrive at the gold podium. His name is Jesus, He promised that when we embrace Him, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised to give us victory if we follow His lead.

I encourage you to be inspired by the 400 plus exceptional men and women taking part in the Invictus Games.

I urge you to place your faith and trust in the greatest life-coach of all time, the Lord Jesus Christ and be a part of the world’s dream team, the team that has been assured victory!

 

Looking forward to seeing you on the gold podium, LolaA  🙂

Jaco Van Gass is presented with a Gold Medal by Prince Harry

Jaco Van Gass is presented with a Gold Medal by Prince Harry

 

COME ON ANDY!!!

That was the shout that could be heard around most of the UK yesterday afternoon as Andy Murray battled it out with Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final on the Centre Court in scorching temperatures of around 30 degrees Celsius.

Watching it in those type of temperatures was a fete in its self so I can only imagine what prancing around on the grass and hitting a tennis ball at upwards of 100 miles an hour must have felt like.

Both Novak and Murray had a lot at stake, as the current no.1 in the world Novak wanted to show once again just how deserving he was of that title and Andy…well Andy was determined to make history. A story for himself and his country men, whether he was regarded as Scottish or British he definitely wanted to be regarded as a champion.

They had put in the hard work, the practice, listening to their respective coaches taking on-board their advice, exercising and being mentally prepared. They had crossed their rivers, jumped their hurdles, overcome the quarter and semi-finals and now it was crunch time. This year’s Wimbledon had seen a lot of up-sets and neither of them wanted to be added to the casualty list.

And so they battled it out, visor caps came on and visor caps went off  and with time the surroundings became a blur. The stifling heat was momentarily forgotten, the dripping sweat was a non-issue and even the roaring crowd became background noise as they focused on one thing and one thing alone winning the match!

Neither of them had been born with a silver spoon, as a youngster Novak had experienced first hand the terror of warfare and Andy had worked hard for every accolade he had ever received. This was the battle of Wimbledon 2013 and may the best man win.

As far as yesterday was concerned Andy Murray was declared the best man. On the seventh day of the seventh month of 2013 he ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion at Wimbledon.

Was it easy? No
Was it simple? No
Was it a walk in the park? Definitely not

Was it strenuous? Yes
Was it tiring? Yes
Was it exhausting? Yes
Was it hard work? Tell me about it.

Was it worth it? Yes, yes and yes!

There’s an adage that says, “sweet soup costs a lot of money” and I’ll say, ‘a sweet win at Wimbledon costs a lot of ‘body’s”. Andy has a whole team, a whole workforce backing him. We may see one man on the court but so many people had spoken victory into his life, they told him time and time again yes you can and yes you will. They mentally willed him on as they silently prayed for him. Then there was the crowd, most of whom were also willing him to win, and last but definitely not least was the TV audience urging on the young man from Dunblane in Scotland.

So, Andy Murray has written his story, yes we were there, sort of, at least we witnessed it live, he has gotten on with his life, he has achieved so many of  the things he set out to achieve. There will be more challenges ahead but he has gotten some stars on his belt that can never be removed.

Now it’s your turn and it’s my turn. It won’t be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, it won’t be a walk in the park and except the pregnant lady is having a  caesarean operation she won’t wake up and find her baby beside her, she will need to push and push damn hard. But the baby, the prize, the achievement, the victory is always worth it! Lifting the winning trophy more than compensates for all the effort.

So let’s be ready to discipline our bodies like Paul says in 1st Corinthians 9:27 and let’s be ready to fight the good fight, there is a crown for each one of us we just have to be ready to reach out, to stretch and exert ourselves in order to obtain it. We may or may not have a whole workforce willing us to succeed but there are definitely people on this earth routing for us, possibly depending on us to excel and come forth victoriously.

I can assure you there is a heavenly host shouting from the sidelines, surrounding you in the Centre Court of your life, urging you on and willing you to victory, you cannot afford to let them down, neither can I.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

Catch you on the victory mount very soon, LolaA  🙂

LET THE ‘USAIN BOLT’ IN YOU SHINE THROUGH

For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come. (1Timothy 4:8)

 

The Goliath of Athletics
When I see Usain Bolt I think of Goliath and Usain is definitely a giant of athletics. He’s a legend and he’s got his ‘double double’. Two times Olympic gold medal winner in the 100metres sprint and two times Olympic gold medal winner in the 200metres sprint. The first man to ever do so, a big thumbs up to him, as some would say more and more grease to his elbows.

The truth is, there’s an’ Usain Bolt’ on the inside of each one of us. It might not be a sprinting Usain Bolt and it might not be a swimming Michael Phelps but there is definitely something there that sets us apart from everybody else. Something unique about us, just like our finger prints and DNA are unique.

Greatness is Lurking in the Dark
If we have not yet discovered what our own ‘Usain Bolt’ is then we need to dig deep, maybe go on a voyage of discovery and come up with our very own ‘New Found Land’, our very own utopia.

It doesn’t have to be sports, definitely not, it could be teaching geography; fixing cars or making money from the stock market, but it’s in there somewhere. Your own talent, something you love and something you’re good at…..You may not be the best, not yet, but that is where the ‘Bolt’ factor comes into play.

Ask anybody who is any good at what they do, it took and still takes hard work and no, it didn’t just happen overnight.

If you want to talk about being the best, that’s a different story altogether. That is a story of discipline, hard work, commitment, sacrifice, midnight candles, no nights out, no TV, etc. etc…….

Is it hard? Yes! Does it pay off in the long run? Yes, yes and yes! Just ask Usain Bolt, he feels on top of the world right now and he deserves it cause he’s worked hard. And after working hard what did he do? He worked a little harder. He put in the time, he learnt his trade, he put in the effort, he trained hard. He blocked out the pleasures of life for seasons together, he focused, yea he focused on his dreams, he saw with eyes of faith his ‘double double’ and he pursued it relentlessly.

Was there opposition, there was plenty, opponents were many, sowers of doubt were ten a penny, but Usain kept his eye on the prize. With unflinching determination he stayed the course, in the good times and in the bad, in the sunshine and in the hailstones.

It doesn’t matter what’s thrown at you, what you do with what’s thrown at you is what will determine your position in life, your position in history, even if it’s just the his-story of your family.

Decide to make it a story worth telling!

It’s an Olympic year and Usain Bolt has made history in 9.63 seconds and then he did it again in 19.32 seconds, but those seconds were backed with many many years of preparation. It flashed before our eyes but in truth it was a long arduous journey.

 It’s the year 2012 and we are spectators in Usain Bolt’s story, many of us only took part in the clapping event  L    

Make Your Story a Good One!
However we have our own stories to write and we cannot afford to be spectators. We cannot afford to allow others to write us ‘in’ or write us ‘out’ at their whims and caprices. We are the lead actors and we must determine to set the pace, to lead and to lead from the front.

By our actions, our determination, our focus, our refusal to take no for an answer, our refusal to rest on our oars and our refusal to be put down, we can take hold of all that life has to offer us.

Usain Bolt has come, he has seen, and he has conquered.

We also have come, we have seen and continue to see and by the grace of our Saviour we too shall conquer!

May the ‘Usain Bolt’ in you shine through!

Listen it’s the rumblings of thunder……Now is as good a time as any for your ‘Bolt’ of lightning!!!  

 

Need to dash, my 9.63 seconds are waiting, LolaA

 

P.S. Just heard on the radio that Usain Bolt sent a twitter message to the effect that he couldn’t have achieved what he did without God. Nice one Usain (y).

Victory