Published by Barnabas International • PO Box 11211 • Rockford, IL 61126 • Volume III • No. 5 • May 1989
LAREAU LINDQUIST, Founder
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. II Timothy 2:3-6
Paul's exhortation to his young colleague in ministry is appropriate for all of us to hear and to heed. He uses three illustrations…
…the hard-working farmer.
…the self-disciplined soldier.
…the totally committed athlete.
In each case, the individual is singularly committed to the task and has his eye fixed on the ultimate reward. He chooses to have the long look instead of the short focus. He sees the value of the distance race versus the quick hundred yard dash.
Dallas Green, the new manager of the new York Yankees, has this motto on the wall of the clubhouse at the winter training center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida…THE WILL TO WIN IS NOT WORTH A NICKEL UNLESS YOU HAVE THE WILL TO PRACTICE.
Undoubtedly, all of us want to be winners in the Christian life…and in our fields of Christian service. BUT THE PRICE TAG…yes, the price tag for winning, is total commitment…hard work…self-discipline.
It is true, not only for the baseball player…the farmer…the soldier…the athlete. Think about it. The accomplished pianist knows the rigors of long hours of tedious practice. The college valedictorian also knows the discipline of study and the singular focus of hard work.
All of this is transferable to Christian living and Christian service. If anything in life is worth 100% commitment, our calling in Christ heads the list. And if anyone is worthy of our total loyalty, Jesus Christ Alone is worthy.
I genuinely want to finish my life and ministry hearing the words of Jesus, Well done, thou good and faithful servant. But that will only happen if today I am focused on Him …rehearsing for Ultimate Glory…working hard.
Without today's effort, great goals are merely empty drama…unrealistic expectations…vague aspirations.
Be encouraged…the reward will be worth the effort.