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. (NIV)
Christian musician Rich Mullins once sang, "Love's not a feeling. Oh, we've got to learn to get past our emotions to the meaning of the word." 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love, but it is easy for us slip into a saccharine, emotional understanding of love. From there it is a quick step to lazy, careless Christianity.
Love is tough. It is strong. It is powerful. It was what held the arms of God to a cross on our behalf. Living this way takes serious effort and training. What do you need to do? Do you need to get back into a pattern of Scripture reading and study? Stop making excuses and do it. Do you need to pray more regularly, surround yourself with praise music, or exercise the muscles of servanthood by getting out and serving? Stop making excuses and do it. Complacency is not an option for a follower of Christ.
The Olympics are around the corner. How much time and effort do you think the athletes spend honing their skills? Do you think they are ever satisfied with their performance, no matter how many gold medals they have won? Why would we be content with an hour or two at church and a general habit of being nice? There is so much more we can be as Christians. Paul reminds us that we have to maintain our training.
Lord, I admit that I have grown soft. It is easy for me to think that I am living a good enough life, forgetting that You have called me to more than that. You have called me to be like Jesus. Give me the courage to live His kind of love. Train me to live and serve well. In the name of Christ Jesus, my Savior, amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins