May 1st, 2021 – Very Early Saturday Morning
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” ~2 Timothy 2:5
The concept behind this verse seems to be this: If you are engaged in a tournament or competition, you must compete within the predetermined boundaries of said contest. Deviating from the rules of the game would result in not only missing out on the prize, but also in being disqualified altogether. Why such strictness and harshness? Because rules help to guide the outcome, protect the competitors, and ultimately determine the game itself. In addition, a disregard for the rules of a game indicates a disregard for the game itself; an athlete who seeks a prize but fails to do so properly is, in essence, putting himself above the game.
Fitting this into the context in which Paul is addressing Timothy, one who is competing for the crown of glory and life must do so under the authority of the One who is not only the Rulemaker, but also the Judge. His analysis and judging is perfect, and He takes no bribes or excuses. The good news for those of us who have been called and chosen to run in this race is that He is also the Author and Finisher of our faith. Our responsibility is to trust and obey; He gives the grace, He enables, and He sustains those who trust Him enough to compete according to His rules. (By the way, His rules are not just “do’s” and “don’t’s”; they deal with the heart and with the outworking of the Gospel in the life of the believer.)
Don’t skimp on obedience or on total submission. Run the race with courage, endurance, and reverence. Run in such a way that you will not be disqualified and compete in such a way that you will win the prize!