I have done a lot of teachings on the essential requirements of Yahweh God for our lives. I wanted to move onto how our lives should change with this knowledge beyond keeping the laws of God. More relevant to daily circumstances in our lives which we are to overcome. … It deals with the mental and physical changes we are called to go through as believers. I will use the recent Olympics as a comparison. Those participants trained extremely hard and constant for their goal. A goal of glory in achieving a medal, beating a record and bringing honour and glory to the nation they represent. Some started from an early age or earlier than others. Some had disabilities of various levels. Missing limb or limbs or stumped in growth. Developed or acquired their disability after being whole or were born with it. Maybe from a life changing circumstance of serving in a war, accident or illness. In other words they all started off from different points (able bodied or not so abled), travelled different routes, yet all aimed for the same goal and glory.
I saw a cyclist without a hand, wrist and fingers, competing in the Paralympics. I thought, why are they not in the competing with the able bodied? Cycling is to do with the feet not so much the fingers. I saw blind people running the 100m with the assistance of a guide. No one was left out. All could particulate. There was a place for all according to their ability and talents. For some it was not their first Olympics nor their first medal. Some had participated in three Olympics over 12 years. Some had not achieved the podium in former contests yet did not give up. Instead went away and trained more either to achieve, better their previous performance or show they can perform at a high level over and over again.
So, what was their first step? I would say a calling similar to coming to a realisation of Yahshua our Messiah. A realisation in their case of a talent, seeing participants of previous events years before or other reason to gain their interest. Second they or their parent or other person made a mental decision to aim for something. They had a mind change from what was, to what is or could be. Then they or someone such as a parent or trainer, made a decision to have a go or guide them. Maybe not to reach the top; but simply take the first step to participate and see the possible result. It was a change of their mind or someone’s mind. Then they trained in a regimental, disciplined and systematic way without giving up or making excuses. Not just for what they can do; but pushing themselves to what they could not. Setting the bar very high as only that process would get them the glory.
I heard of Mo Farrah running hundreds of miles per week. Saw Usain Bolt running in a swimming pool for the resistance, pushing weighs and training till he vomited. Years ago I heard of Sharon Davies’ dad who trained her for the 1980’s Olympics still had her swim with a broken arm. Such is vision of their trainer, discipline of the athlete and zealousness for glory that they endure more than the body should bear.
Ok, let us look at some of those points from Yahweh our Father’s teaching.
Luk 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. They know how to perceive and achieve. They have a calling or vision to want to achieve something. Train to attain. Whether in business or other endeavour. Many of them make more use of God’s teachings without use of the bible than believers who have it to hand. They manage and don’t waste time knowing it cannot be regained and each piece must be used productively to move forward.
Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. They started the child’s training from a very young age and are consistent. My next door neighbour has a steady line of parents bringing children to her door for private tuition from 9a.m to evening almost every day. They do not let the child make their own mistakes nor teach themselves. In the bible that was the custom of good parents of God. Yahshua annually attended the holy convocations of God with His parents to the extent he stayed behind one year. Paul learnt at Galimemo’s feet from a child. Infact he told Timothy 2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. And a proverb teaches Pro 29:21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.
So here we have the principle of starting early and training diligently. It gives me pleasure and is rewarding to see parent’s and grand parents making the effort to bring their children to the ways and teachings of God from when they are young and I commend Mary, Leon and Tania for coming and reading. I am hoping in years to come as we see them grow and mature we can be proud (or take delight) of being part of their development. Parents, grandparents or other family member are to have visions for their children. Scripture says without a vision the people perish and without the same our children do not achieve. We are not to wait until the child is old enough to make up their mind as by then formative training years could be lost forever. Let us renew our minds to that concept and it is never too late, though better late than never. This applies to our failed young adults, teenagers or even mature persons who can possibly go back to being a mature student if they have not achieved what they should have achieved when they were younger. Not all the athletes started at a young age, though it does help.
The athletes training is not only physical; but equally mental. Putting away former ways and adopting the ways and training that leads to success. Mohamed Ali had a saying which I will paraphrase “champions are not made in the gym; but in one’s mind, in their attitude etc”. Basically saying that before you start on the physical you have to start with and bring into control the mental. Your mind as unless your mind is correct, the gym cannot turn out a champion. It is the mental strength that turns out a champion. A victor and we know Mohamed Ali had very good mental strength. For believers we get a directive from Rom 12:2 and Eph 4:23. I shall use Romans later.
Eph 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. Eph 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
So here we are to renew our minds. If the mind was on stealing, we renew our minds not to covet nor steal anymore. Our actions start in our minds and as v27 says we do not give a place to the devil if we renew our mind so that there is no thought of committing sin as stealing and so on; but rather as v28 says let those who stole, steal no more but instead work to give to the needy. Instead of the mind being on taking what is someone else’s it is renewed to giving.
No matter what level of excellence, fame or glory those athletes achieved, we as believers can achieve more. Their names and memory of them may last for a little time; but ours can last for a lot longer. Sharon Davies is only about 53 years old, yet I had to look up her name. I am sure we hardly remember who was in the 1980’s Olympics. Yet Cornelius in Acts 10 is remembered 2,000 years after and is learned about worldwide by those reading the scriptures. Similarly as is the lady at the well, the one who anointed Yahshua’s feet and others as Steven who got stoned. Successful believers will have their names written in the book of life and live for a lot more than an earthly life. Our glory should be as said in Psa 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Jer 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith Yahweh.
Theoretically, our race should be easier than the Olympians. They compete against people they may not know, may never have met, do not know their capabilities nor their tactics. In other words competing against man unknowns. I watched Mo Farah in the 10,000 km. The race pace setters knew Mo was a fast finisher so the commentator said they ran a fast start to try and tiring him out. He didn’t know this, probably. However, he didn’t panic; but settled comfortably somewhere in the middle of the group keeping to a preset stategy for all occurrences. Maybe he had contemplated what strategy the opponents could use as we are to consider the devil’s strategies and plan our counter. Then when it was time to kick in, the training came to bear. The months of being away from his wife and children, thousands of miles of running in all weather got him the gold. Scripture says we have to put God before family even deny them if they try to take us away from Him. Mo denied himself as are we also called to do when we spend time in our training in studying the Word rather than be doing other things. We only have to beat ourselves who we ought to know. However, because of our sometimes double mindedness, we sometimes fail. Occasions for which God has made allowance through His son. Meaning our failure. Were we like Daniel and purposed in our hearts our preset plan when tempted, we may have got the reward as did Daniel (Dan 1:8). Daniel had purposed in his heart not to defile his body when offered apparent luxury food and prestige of being a groomed leader. He said if he cannot be a prestige person eating within and keeping God’s law I did not want to be one. We all know success he gained by keeping to God’s law.
The deceiving devil knows we have freewill. Two choices and two spirits working on our flesh and mind. Paul refers to these two spirits or character traits as laws. One of God and other of sin. In Romans 7 he basically says these two laws or character spirits are in conflict within him trying to make him choose them over the other. He does things he knows he should not do and actually doesn’t want to do. It is a hard struggle to do right as getting up whilst it is still dark and train in solitude. Paul ends the chapter with Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Yahshua our master. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. So Paul says that the law warring against his mind is one that ones to make him captive to sin. To make him disobey the law of God and follow the law of sin, the devil. And as Paul said in Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
How do we overcome this internal conflict? By pre purposing in our hearts like Daniel. Be single minded because the children of the world knows and God teaches through James that a double minded person does not really achieve. If you know you should get up and train, get up and train! Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. We get a similar teaching in Eph 6:10-19 admonishing us to be strong in God and His power. Remember Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Ephesians build on that warning us we fight not flesh and blood; but spiritual wickedness from which we are to protect ourselves with the armour of God which includes truth, righteousness, faith, perseverance and a lot more on which you should reflect; but you would have to read Eph 6:10-19. So you do not miss the point, we first have to condition and purpose in our mind what we want to achieve and need to do. Obey God or obey man. Follow His laws or follow man’s and denominations traditions. Of course it does not stop with the mind; but we have to put it into practice.
Though Paul went through some inner test of character and fights, he was able to endure and end up victorious saying 2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. So Paul says he has finished the race. You do not get the crown or any reward unless you finish the race irrespective of what place you come. In many charity and such races all finishers get a medal whether they came last or hours after others. If you finish it you have self pride and everyone will respect you for finishing and not quitting. It is a test of your character, discipline and mind. Paul says not only will he get his medal or crown; but as the representative of Yahweh’s kingdom, Yahweh’s national anthem will be played as he stands on the podium as it were; similar to at the Olympics as I am sure you know how the presentations go. So imagine as representatives of Yahweh, when we in this world reflect Him in our character it is like we are playing His national anthem to the world through our lives. I am sure you know of at least some of the scriptures stating we are or can be citizens of God’s kingdom and are His representatives by being children of obedience (Eph 2:2, 19).
The world may find our ways peculiar; but they also find God peculiar. Thus it is no wonder they find His children, us peculiar.
Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Deu 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto Yahweh thy God, and Yahweh hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Deu 26:18 And Yahweh hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness (which is committing sin) into his marvellous light (which is truth):
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The above sample scriptures states God’s peculiar people are called to keep His commandments as stated in Deuteronomy and to do good works as in Titus. They are peculiar because they keep His commandments (which the rest of the world does not) and the terms of the covenant He made with them in Ex 24:7 where Moses sprinkled the blood on the people and the book of the law. Titus 2:14 follows 2:13. It says Yahshua died for those covenant people Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us that he might redeem US….
So Yahshua did not die for everyone; but those who are peculiar according to obedience to His commandments doing good works or as Revelations 14:12 says and faith in the redemptive blood of His son. Those who have changed from citizens of the world to of His kingdom. Not only by a mindset change; but represented in their actions like the trained athlete. They not only want to win the race; but they train to win the race by adopting practices and a work ethic so that their body actually becomes an athlete.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
So when your mind is renewed you, then have to go onto prove what is good, acceptable and perfect will of God and it says the proof is not by hearing; but by the doing. The doers are justified.
I said some athletes started training at a young age or younger than others. The starting age did make a difference for muscle memory etc; but only if they endured. I am sure there were many potential athletes who dropped off, did not train or make the grade, the initial fame went to their heads and they returned to the world etc. Ecc 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
So it is not a special category as the rich, swift or strong. Time and chance happens to all just as I started off with the Olympians coming from different abilities, backgrounds and routes. They all had the opportunity to participate. So we cannot say because we are not strong, swift or other. God is not a respecter of persons and does not wish for any of His created to perish 1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
I suspect some readers of this presentation would say 1 Ti 2:6 contradicts my previous statement Yahshua did not die for everyone. They may also use “whosoever belief shall be saved” or similar. We are to use all scripture to get an understanding. Luke 13:3, 5 says those who do not repent shall perish. Belief in the bible does not mean a simple head concept. We just read in Romans it is not the hearers of the law; but the doers who are justified and saved. The belief must be acted out. Also read 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It is God’s desire that all are saved; but He gives all freewill to repent. Those who do not, shall suffer Luke 13:3, 5. That is where the deceiver comes in. Giving many people a different definition of sin rather than the biblical one of transgression of the law. As Ecc 9:11 says, God gave time and chance to all. Whether a tragedy, illness or other situation in your life to bring you to a knowledge of Him or keep you seeking him. Sometimes the situations we think are tragic or bad could be God’s way of getting our attention or change of habit. It took Paul’s blindness to get his attention. I know if it wasn’t for many problems in my life where financial ruin was always one step away, I may not have grown to the knowledge I have of the scriptures nor kept away from many temptations. They hedge me in to fear God depend on God for my earthly situation salvation and as a consequence, hopefully my eternal salvation. Is there a situation in your life that were it not for that you may have returned to the world, still be in the world or succumb to a temptation. If so, then thank God for that situation.
I said some athletes had disabilities of various levels, yet they did not allow that to affect their mind, will or training regime. They may have even had to train harder. Turning that wheelchair wheel with their arms for miles and miles. Who would ever have heard of wheelchair tennis, basketball or archery. Indeed where there is a will, there is a way. Look back, 150 years ago man was still using horses for transportation. That lasted for over 4,000 years. Now all of a sudden we are sending rockets to planets the naked eye cannot even see. Our God is such a loving God, he has given time and chance to everyone. Infact He seems to care more for the disabled than the abled. Scripture says He provides for the widow, poor, fatherless and stranger. Mar 2:17 When Yahshua heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. So if you think you have a flaw, an imperfection or disadvantage. In comparison to others you have an advantage in God’s eyes. Read Yahshua’s sermon on the mount, who He healed. Your accolade will be louder in heaven Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Also remember the parable in Luke 7:45 a part of which is Luk 7:40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. Luk 7:41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. Luk 7:42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Luk 7:43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. Here we read Yahshua saying it is ok to judge if judge rightly.
I did not watch a lot of the Olympics; but know of incidents where athletes who got medals were later disqualified for taking drugs or banned substances. Many of us may be admiring apparent good Christians thinking they are better than us. When infact they are on banned substances you cannot see; but God can. He sees their secret actions. I know of two instances where elders of churches are and have cheated other members out of their house or money. It may never come out in the church so they retain their image; but not in God’s eyes. Your task is not to focus or compare with others; but on the requirements of God, keeping His laws of showing love to Him and your brethren. Making the right choices every time satan or his ministers try to tempt or deceive you. One decision at a time.
Like the athletes, you started in a different place, from a different point and travelled an initial different route; but you are now hopefully on the strait way to Yahweh. You have merged and met others on the same journey just as the athletes from around the world met up at the Olympics and ended up on the same podium. We are however, not in competition with each; but supporters and encouragers of each other. We may be from different earthly nations; but just like an athlete can change representing nation so can we. We are now citizens are representatives of Yahweh’s kingdom. Do not let yourself nor Him down.
Do not get over confident in any self righteousness you may have attained by being perfect as anything can suddenly come to knock you off the road. A death, illness, television documentary that questions your faith etc. Many walked with Yahshua and ceased saying some of His messages were too hard to take. Paul also stated of some who used to walk rightly; but fell away. Former gold medal winners did not slack off on their training. They were not satisfied with one medal, even a gold. They felt there was more capability in them. They may have trained even harder on the basis others knew their ability to beat. If they ran or swam a certain time; even a record time they set out to better it as everyone knew their former time and was aiming to beat it. Likewise as believers we are always to be in training, improving and learning.
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Php 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Paul is saying do not count on your past successes or position and rest on your laurels as the saying goes. It reminds me of the tortoise and hear children’s story where they were having a race and the hare thought he was well infront so sat down to have a rest and relax; but while he dosed off and slackened, the tortoise over took him and won. Similarly God gives us the same guidance in Eze 33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Eze 33:14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; Eze 33:15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Sometimes we think we have attained and the deceiver or his ministers come and trick us one way or other. Or a temptation we did not guard ourselves against or thought we had conquered so relaxed our guard or lost our focus. It happens to us all one time or other.
However, neither get disheartened when you slip up, get lonely or financially broke. Seek and speak to God. Seek Him and He will assist you or send you assistance. Just don’t refuse or fail to recognise it. Work hard and have confidence not sit back and wait for things to fall in your lap. Failure to prepare could be preparing to fail. Rome was not built in a day nor does crops harvest immediately after planting. You plant them, water them, weed them and then you get the crop, he benefit of your hard work and diligent attendance to what you planted.
Heb 3:6 But Yahshua as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
So if God says, if you do “A” He will give you “B”, once you have done all of “A” you can have the confidence He will give you “B” and do not let anyone take away that confidence if you know you have performed all He requires in the manner and at the time stated. Not the traditions man or denomination has taught you; but as the scriptures state.
Like the perspective athlete that joins their sport because of a calling, parent’s vision, situation or admiration of a top athlete you have also joined God’s system for similar reasons. A calling parent’s guidance, situation or admiration of His son Yahshua. But not all who start finish. Not all who are baptised are saved though they may all have started out with the hope of being saved, to use Hebrews 3:6 wording. Only those holding firm to the end cross the finish line. They endured the disciplined training from beginning to the end. Likewise when we are baptised we make a conscious decision to enter the race for God’s kingdom. A race that requires sacrifices of our preferred choices to those directed by God in His Laws. The athlete can no more live as the rest of the world eating what they want, going to bed or waking when they want or using their time as they want; but as preparation to win the race requires. Likewise our worldly mindset dies or should die when we enter the baptism pool. We come out of the water with a new vision of living the life required. Not eating what we want but clean and unclean food as God states in Lev 11. The athlete not only has to keep their mind and vision pure; but also their bodies. As holy peculiar people we also have to keep our bodies holy and undefiled. Lastly Heb 3:6 and 14 says we have to continue this lifestyle to the end. That is when we are saved. We get baptised like Yahshua and thereafter live or walk as he walked as the bible puts it; but what if He had not held to the end? If on the night before the end of His life in the garden He had chosen His will rather than His Father’s. Would He have ascended to the right hand of His Father? I do not think so. Likewise we are not saved, do not ascend with Him because of our baptism; but because of enduring to the end to get the hope we had of winning the race or our race. We race against ourselves and the deceiver. Those are the only two persons we have to beat. Like the athlete who has to make daily choices and training so do we. If they eat the wrong food, miss training etc, they are knocked back; but not necessarily out of the race or cannot win. They simply have to get back to training and doing who they should. It may mean detoxing their body, training harder or learning never to make that slip up again. Likewise we may slip up in our choices; but it not race over. We confess our sins to God, try harder and learn not to let the deceiver catch us out that way again. If we accomplish that, then we get our glory where Yahshua Himself or His Father gives us our gold medal and angels, yes angels sing our praises and calls us by our name.
You have got this far. Keep going one day or week at a time. Know when you get weak and need support, phone a friend or me. Neither should we wait for a phone call; but let us phone each other to give that support or encouragement before the situation arises or gets worse. Let them know we are there or around for when they need us. Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. Note the endure to the end as many people seem to discount that requirement.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. Here again the teaching is you are striving for mastery like the athletes striving for glory. You are temperate in all things. You have a diligent training program. If the children of this world are wiser than the children of light; because they know when striving to obtain a corruptible crown whether it be fame, fortune, a car or other they have to apply themselves how much more should we apply ourselves for the incorruptible. We should have a better attitude not even the same.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. We are to endure temptation. It did not say endure temptation if it comes. It implies it will come. These are you tries by which we can prove whether we love God or not and deserving of that crown. Remember the scriptural sign found in John and 1st John of love to God is to keep His commandments. Also remember we can use Ephesian 6 to overcome the tries.
1Pe 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Revelations chapters 2 and 3 gives warnings and directives to the members of the seven churches. Warnings of trials and suffering; but also directives of attaining the crown. These were literal congregations of the time; but we can equally take on board the warnings and the directives. I shall end using two
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. WE are told not to be afraid when sufferings come our way because the devil will send those things to test us as he did Job. Whether to put us in prison as Peter or other. As Yahshua said we are not to fear those that can take away our life; but he that can take away our crown through our wrong choice which sends us to hell. Rom 2:10 says if we are faithful unto death. Faithfull of keeping hold of God’s commandments unto death like Daniel and his three colleagues who said they did not care if they died; but were not going to bow down to paganism in the form of the statute
Rev 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Brethren as a family I pray we all continue our training in the Word of God and endure past the finish line. Whether we run, walk or stumble over it as happened in one female Olympic race.