Theme: Trophies Worth Winning
1.1 Corinthians 9:25 talks about Christians going into strict training. What sort of things do you think Paul means?
2. Moses is someone who needed strict training before he could lead God’s people. Read his story in Exodus 2-4. He was raised by a Pharoah’s daughter, fled Egypt, became a shepherd and practiced changing a staff into a snake. All of this training allowed Moses to lead God’s people out of Egypt. As you listen to this episode, think about how you can train so that you can follow what God wants you to do.
“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”
A: Spin in circles and cut the grass with an old lawn tractor.
In this episode, Liz had to train in order to drive a racing car. You can train as well. You can train by reading your Bible, by going to church on Sundays, and by serving others. Paul says that we are training to receive a crown of glory. But unlike athletes, you don’t receive the crown of glory for yourselves, but rather for God.
In the New Testament,, several writers compare the crowns of their day with the crowns from Christ. In those days, athletes who won a race were "crowned" with a wreaths made of leaves and flowers. Athletes spent all of their time training just to win one of these crowns-even though the crown would die and have to be thrown away. The Bible says Christians will also receive crowns. Not crowns that will wither and die. God's crowns will last forever. God's crowns are promised to his children who believe in him. Jesus, himself, will one day judge the world. Upon the heads of those who love him and believe in him, he will place a crown of eternal life.
It's time to train! When athletes train, they do harder and harder exercises to get stronger. However, they build up these exercises gradually, so they do not get too tired or hurt themselves. Look at how you are training to grow stronger in reading your Bible, going to church, and serving others. Are there areas where you have been doing the same thing for a long time? You won't get stronger that way! Or is there an area where you need to start training? Pick ONE of these areas, and make a new small goal to go beyond what you are currently doing. Example: If you are reading your Bible once a week, make it a goal to read twice a week for a while. If you have been going to church every Sunday, make it goal to say "hello" to one new person a week. If you have not been serving others at all, start with taking over one job in your family. If you try to do too much at once, you may get discouraged or tired. Every few weeks, check up on your training, like an athlete would. What is getting too easy? Where can you add a new challenge?