Getting to hear Tony Dungy speak in person was a great way to kick of 2017. He has always been a mentor to me through his books or anything I could read about him plus by watching his “public life.” Before I heard him speak I had the opportunity to tell him how much I admire his public love for Jesus and his willingness to be a man who continually gives back. His humble reply, “I can never outgive the Lord!”
He spoke from verses we hear often in athletic arenas such as this one found in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “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.” He said all people should “run their race,” a.k.a. life, to WIN. Understanding, in the race of life, everyone is offered the “ultimate prize”…salvation!
You don’t have to earn it. Salvation is a “free gift”. But growing in our relationship with Him means having an understanding that we were created by God for God. With that being said…we all have the scripture mandate…to RUN TO WIN! To allow God to use our lives to bring glory and honor to Him.
How do we run our life to win? It is simple. Embrace the above phrase and OWN IT! Yes, take EXTREME OWNERSHIP of the fact that ”We were created by God for God.” Rick Warren does a better job than anyone I know in his book, “What on Earth Am I Here For?” in helping readers understand this simple phrase and apply it to their lives.
For me…there are several key scriptures that I recite daily to remind myself on how to RUN the DAY to win…knowing days add up to weeks and weeks to months and months to years and years being my life:
Matthew 6:33, “But seek FIRST the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” [emphasis mine].
Proverbs 3:5-6, ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding, and in all your ways submit to Him, and HE will make your paths straight” [emphasis mine].
1 John 4:4, “ Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
The above are just daily verses for me. God’s word is the nourishment and encouragement we need to help us RUN to WIN. I know if God is first and I give him the first FRUIT of my day…then I have the VERY BEST chance of winning the day. Those days add up which becomes evident as you take time to reflect.
I’ve been revisiting the year of 2016…I look back and see God’s hand and provision and wins…which are in direct proportion to my obedience to be in “strict training.” Ultimately, it is God who wins. In fact, He has already won. When I run to win in my own life–that little “dash” from birth until death–then I get to participate in the ultimate National Championship that guarantees…the Winner’s circle…Heaven.
The best trophy on earth for me, outside of salvation (which I didn’t earn…it is a gift), is this: how many people can I help run their race to win? Showing them first how to accept Christ’s free gift and then challenging them to relinquish their life to their Creator and Run for Him. Fulfilling Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he created in advance for us to do!”
Are you running? You say yes, but are you running to win the prize?