1 Corinthians 8-10

"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."                                         I Corinthians 9:24, NIV 

Our daughter was eleven years old. She had run in the school track meet every year and finished near the top of her class, but you could tell that her heart was not in it. So, when she was in fifth grade I did what any self-respecting dad would do: I offered her a bribe! 

I told her that for every race she won that I would pay her $5. I thought I might get her to run a little harder for at least a race or two. And my plan worked beautifully, at first.

She won the 50 yard dash! Wonderful! I'm out $5 but I showed her that she could succeed if she really did her best. "Lesson learned" thought the proud papa, and I was only out $5.

Then she turned around and won the 100 yard dash! "Great!", I thought, She was a sprinter, she learned to run and it only cost me $10.

Then she won the 200 yard dash... then the 400! Fortunately they stopped there because I was out $20, and on a preacher's salary at that.

It turned out okay in the long run, though. Ten years later she is a three-time All-American on the collegiate level. I guess the lesson stuck - she just needed a little motivation to see that she really could do it.

Do you? You see when God tells us to run in such a way as to win the race, I think that sometimes we are not confident that we can really do it - that going to Heaven is some kind of "magic" that is only reserved for the "super" Christians. But we can win that most important race, you know, because God will help us win. All we have to do is our best.

Are you... doing your best? Isn't that why you are studying in the first place?

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life."  I John 5:13, NIV