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Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek

"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Back to basics

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:9

If you book a golf lesson and ask the pro to help you to stop hitting the ball left all the time, the pro will often ignore your request and want to go back to basics – grip, stance etc.

As Christians it can help us too to get back to basics. Paul gives Timothy a quick summary of the gospel. Of course, Timothy knows the gospel but Paul still thought that he would benefit from a little reminder!

Timothy is reminded that he has been saved and that is not something he has done but all down to God’s grace. In that simple phrase – not what I do but what Jesus has done. And the plan of salvation was no afterthought. It was conceived before the beginning of time – doesn’t that blow you away.

Paul’s theology is always practical but there is often a sting in the tail! Rather than sit back and enjoy the blessings, Timothy is challenged to live a holy life – and so are we.

As we go to training, to our sports club or wherever God has placed us, we need to go as holy people. Not as a “Holy Joe” looking down on others but as Christ’s representative living by God’s standards in a selfish and competitive world.

There is a lot of truth in the old song “Take time to be holy”. Holiness – like success in sport - does not come easily.

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