Thursday, August 26, 2004


They wanted him to give up his prize! After Hamm won the all-around competition in men’s gymnastics, a scoring error was found that would have given a South Korean gymnast the points needed for the gold. One editor I read implied that Hamm would be a goat if he didn’t offer to give up the gold medal.
All that fuss is about a “prize that won’t last.” We train for a “prize that will last forever.” Would you give that prize up? Paul thought he could give it up, in a sense. He knew how important self-control was in his training to get the prize. If he treated his training like it had no purpose, or if he lost control of himself, he knew he could become disqualified for the prize.
In another context, Paul spoke of his love for his countrymen. He knew that many of them were lost in their unbelief. He wrote regarding his love for them that he could wish that he was cut off from Christ for their sakes. For those Gentiles who thought that Paul had abandoned the Jews to preach to Gentiles, his words of sustained love had to be convincing.
The truth is, you can give up your award. You can disqualify yourself from your eternal prize by neglecting your training and turning from your decision to control yourself in holy ways. Don’t do that! Another truth is that you can’t give up your prize so that another can have it. Paul knew that forfeiture was not the way to bring his loved ones to faith. He understood that his own faith was one of his greatest tools in his efforts to bring them to Christ. Those things are true for you, too. Keep your prize! That’s Life at Work!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What Does this Mean?

They had heard that the Holy Spirit was going to come. They knew that they were supposed to wait in Jerusalem until it happened. He did come! “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The reaction of those watching isn’t surprising to us. It’s the same reaction we would have had. We might have asked, “What’s going on here?” They asked, “What does this mean?”
The gift, the prophecy, and the promise shout out the same answer! The gift was the ability to speak on languages never learned. The prophecy was that God would pour out his Spirit on all people. The promise was, and is, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
God wants you to hear his message in your own language so that you can understand it and respond to him indescribable gift. God will give you, regardless of race, color, former religion, gender, national origin, or disability his Spirit. God will save you, regardless of who you are, when you call on his name.
He is the God of Equal Opportunity under His Grace. That’s Life at Work!