I am sure there is a tremendous sense of fulfillment and elation that comes from being honored in a champions parade… tickertape filling the air, the adulation of the appreciative fans, sitting in the back of a convertible waving at the crowds, lifting high a trophy… the long season behind you, the hours and hours of preparation and training paid off, the championship game over… Winners! Victors! Champions!
In many ways that picture has parallels in passage I read this morning in the Bible about the victorious, overcoming, Christian life (and how to achieve it – how to live it)!
“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life! We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, we should make every effort to respond to God’s promises! Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you’re like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!” (adapted from 2 Peter 1:3–11 New Living Translation)
I mean it’s all there isn’t it? … He has chosen us and made a part of His team! We’re involved in the training that is necessary for victory! There’s the hope of victory for those who pay the price! And then the grand victory parade for spiritual life-champions! Gotta tell you, I’m “going for gold!” I want the “victor’s wreath!” (Check out 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 2:10c)