A Guide For New Christians (#200)
Bible version used: NIV
The Olympic ideal is summed up in three Latin words: Citius, Altius, and Fortius, which are translated: Swifter, Higher, and Stronger. Olympic athletes put in years of training and preparation in order to compete against athletes from many countries.
Christians are also called to train and to make sacrifices in order that they may run a better Christian race. The best way to learn is with the help of an excellent teacher or coach.
God wrote the book on how to run the Christian race. It is called the Bible. Throughout church history, leaders such as Augustine, Luther, and Wesley were changed when they studied the Bible. It is God’s Word. It carries the authority of God Himself. When we need correction or comfort, it is God who speaks to us.
READ: The Bible is a big book. It might be helpful to start by reading one of the gospels, perhaps Mark or Luke. The gospels teach about the life of Christ. There you can learn what Christ has done for you—how He cherishes you and longs to be in every part of your life.
Find a good Bible study group and stick with it. Learning to excel as an Olympic athlete is rarely done alone. Besides a coach, you need to be with others who are learning how to run well. Small group Bible studies can be profoundly helpful.
Pastors are trained to coach us in how to run the Christian race. Often they have spent years studying the Bible in the original language. Commit
to finding a church home where you can learn from a master teacher how to run the Christian race—and you can enjoy the support of other Christians.
PRAY: There are no parts of your life that are off limits in your conversations with God. Talk to Him about the issues and struggles of your daily life.
SERVE: God calls Christians to make themselves useful to others. In your home, your neighborhood, your workplace or school and with your Christian friends.
Swifter, higher, stronger. Read your Bible, pray and serve. You can do it. God will help you. Go for it!
– Cliff Hoekstra
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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will
not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1Corinthians 9:24-25
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Texts used are from the NIV