Key Passage: 2 Timothy 2: 1-10
Key Text: 2 Timothy 2: 5 – “An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”
Let’s not underestimate what it takes to succeed in life. Let’s not think that we can simply wish for it and then it happens. If this were the case everyone will be successful. Success does not happen by chance. It is a very deliberate and planned outcome to a long and arduous process. I look at medal winning athletes and it is so easy to think that the competition they won is all they did to win. We watch Usain Bolt sprint down the track for under 10 seconds and we think ‘that can’t be hard’. But only God knows how many years of training, he has had to put in to shave off a microsecond from his personal best. If you can spend a week of your life with one of these athletes, you will be so surprised at how they live. The rise up so early in the morning and they embark on rigorous training regime for the first four hours of the day. Next they go and study and do some theoretical mind strengthening exercises for another three or so hours, they eat very carefully selected and prepared meal that will produce a predetermined amount of calories and energy. Then they have some time for relaxation, and its back on the track for more exercises and stressful tests. By the time the day comes to and end, they are so spent and every fibre of their body and mind is stretched and in pain. Their whole being cries for a break, but after a six-hour sleep, they are up again the following morning and the same regime begins again. These they do for ten months of the year, every year, long before they ever come to the grand arenas of the Olympics and finally win a medal. (I can’t help but think of those who never made it to the medal podium, yet had to do the same arduous regime).
I said all these to draw our attentions to one simple fact of life. Because it is not easy to succeed, many people will do anything to succeed the easy way. Most of what they do is illegal and compromising and as such, when they are caught, they are disqualified. There are so many cases of doping in sports and I listen to all the comments people make about the sports dopers and I wonder, how many of them and guilty of the same offences in their sphere of operation. Every compromise is a doping offence. Every time we cheat we are ‘doping’. But there is a sure way to succeed and it is not easy, but it is God’s provision for success and if you can follow His route, you will end up successful, no matter what. God has a way to get you to the top.
At the beginning of today’s passage Paul tells his protégé and son in the Lord, ‘be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Then he went on to tell him about what he must suffer for the sake of his call and the Lord. In Christ Jesus there is unlimited grace. Grace is the empowerment of God for success. It is God’s unlimited Resources At Christ’s Expense. So if you want to succeed in life and not do it by compromise, then you have to learn how to be strong in the grace of Christ. Jesus Christ is the perfect man. He is the greatest man. He is the most successful man. He is all that we want to be and much more. So we can be all we want to be in HIM alone. You have to learn how to depend on God and draw from His unlimited resources. Or you go the harder route, which means arduous training and endless routines and no guarantee of success. If you follow the grace route, you will still have to go through a rigorous process, many hours and endless days of doing good and proper things, but not in your strength but His and at the end of the race, there are no second prizes. We all end up with the crown.
Every time you find your self thinking that you are tired and want to give up and compromise for some success, remember that you need to strengthen yourself in the grace of God.
Let me leave you with this promise from the Lord Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30 – 28 “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Let’s Pray: Father God I thank you that you have given us all things we need to survive this life in godliness. Above all you have made your unlimited grace abound towards us. Father, today I ask for the grace to succeed and excel in life. I lean fully of the grace that is Christ Jesus, the greatest man to live and the perfect specimen of humanity. In Him is all I need to get to the top and stay on top. Thank you for your grace. In jesus name I pray. Amen.