“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone, a new life has begun.” -- 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jon joined the Maryland School for the Deaf high school wrestling team his freshman year as a baby-faced, overweight, 14-year-old student, who lacked self-confidence. Joining the wrestling team was his chance to become a high school athlete. You could see he was all in.
During his first two years, he didn’t win a match, but with encouragement from coaches and teammates, he persevered. Jon approached the last tournament of his junior year looking for his first victory. Unfortunately, he lost his opening match. It was an intense match, each wrestler was unable to get a lead. Going into the final seconds, it was tied. There was a wild scramble with the referee awarding two points but no one could discern to which wrestler. Jon hung his head dejectedly. Just at that moment, the referee raised Jon’s hand in victory. At first, there was a look of disbelief, but then a jump of joy.
His senior year, he was a new person. As a team captain, he confidently led the team. Many years later, I had the opportunity to watch him coach as a deaf coach successfully teaching hearing kids wrestling.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul describes how as believers in Christ, we are reconciled to God. As we compete, we must remember to give thanks to God, that our new life is in Christ and our confidence comes from his Holy Spirit being in us, through us and with us.
- When have you been given a new start?
- Who are your encouragers?
- Who can you encourage to know Christ?
James 1: 2-4; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Romans 5:1-5
“Almighty and gracious God, we pray that You would open the eyes of our hearts, so that we may lead others to Your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.”