You would be hard pressed to find a more competitive person than the apostle Paul. In a nation that had its fair share of zealots, Paul stood out as a leader in the fight to crush the early church. Stopped in his tracks by Jesus Himself and converted soundly, Paul brought this same competitive enthusiasm to his preaching of the Gospel of Christ. He was determined to go to the ends of the earth, to work harder than any of the other apostles, to win as many souls– Jews and Gentiles– as possible by whatever means possible into the Kingdom of God.Paul explained his Gospel outlook to the Christians in Corinth this way . “Don’t you realize that, in a race, everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24,25 NLT
At whatever level you participate, all athletic activities require some sacrifice, the dedication of some part of your life, in order to succeed. The higher the level, the higher the prize, the more dedication is needed; the more of your life is taken over by your will to succeed. And, for the greatest prizes of all, you must dedicate your entire life to winning. Everything that would hinder you from achieving your goal must be put aside.
In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we find the highest prize ever offered to mankind –eternity with Jesus, free from sin, sorrow, pain, and death. All true preachers of this Gospel, from Jesus Himself and onward, have been unanimous that, in order to receive this New Life that He is offering, we must leave behind everything of the old life. It will take everything we have to follow Him, and the rewards will be far beyond anything ever imagined by any man.