The Olympics are a special time, not just because we get to see amazing athletes compete in an even that is at the pinnacle of their career, but also because it is a time that the nations put aside differences and join in cheering on their nation's top athletes. This scripture is so perfect right now. The Olympic events give a glimpse of what God's ultimate plan is for us: to live in peace and unity with one another. With all of the turmoil in the world these days it is good to be reminded that God's plan is great and that one day all suffering will be gone!
2 Timothy 1:7 - For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Self-discipline is a remarkably important trait in life, particularly given that we are surrounded by temptation at every turn. Living a healthy lifestyle requires self-discipline to choose healthy foods over convenient unhealthy foods. Pushing ourselves to fit in time to exercise takes a measure of self-discipline over our schedules and planning.
The good news is God doesn't expect us to muster up the courage, strength, and discipline to do it on our own. He gives us a spirit of power, love, self-discipline, so take advantage of that! When you are feeling particularly as though you are lacking in discipline ask God to take over for you! He is good!
This scripture is particularly apt on Memorial Day weekend as we are remembering those who laid down their lives for our country. Those that have had the privilege AND misfortune to experience such love, know all too well the meaning of sacrifice. For those that have not lost someone with whom they have a personal relationship and who is dear to their heart, it can be difficult to appreciate the somber and sobering tone with which any memorial should be approached.
Regardless of past experiences, anyone can put themselves in a hypothetical situation and ask "Am I willing to lay down my life for ( insert cause/person here )?" Doing so can really open one's eyes to the true impact of this verse.
To be loved SO much by anyone that they are willing to sacrifice themselves that I may live -> that is truly remarkable. But to have a God that loves us so much that He is willing to sacrifice His one and only PERFECT SON to atone for our sins?! That is just utterly breath-taking. Jesus did not run or hide when he was sought out and arrested, but rather stated openly that he was Jesus of Nazareth. This is not to say that Jesus wanted to pay the ultimate sacrifice and he did in fact pray that God would take this cup from him.
Only deep seeded love (whether for country, God, or another person) can compel someone to put their own life on the line for others. What this means is that YOU, my friend, are deeply and passionately loved. <3
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