An NCAA cross-country championship in 1995 provided a vivid example of the danger of “following the crowd” when 123 of the 128 runners were disqualified for not finishing the course. One runner, Mike Delcavo, left the crowd to follow the prescribed course. He began waving for the other runners to follow but most laughed him off and only four other runners broke from the herd to finish the 10,000 meter race. It has been said that “a winner never finishes in a crowd.” In this race, the losers turned out to be 96% of the competitors – off course and disqualified by following the crowd rather than the prescribed course.
God illustrates our life mission by comparing it to a race in 2 Timothy 2:5. Both have inherent hardships and requirements if we are to “win the prize.” The foundational requirement for any sporting event is “follow the rules.”
Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life – no one comes to the Father except by Me!” We either come to God His way or we don’t come! The same is true for serving God in a life of daily mission. God has given us very clear guidance for life, family, financial, ministry practices, etc. that will bring us great joy and reward. These are objective and inflexible – but that does not mean they are less than loving and gracious! In fact, because God is so loving and gracious – having our eternal good and joy at heart – He tells us the unchanging truth. We can count on His unchanging character and unfailing Word!
Please join us this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as we talk about staying on course in mission.
“If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. …If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:5 & 13