Happy Monday! Fall sports season is underway. Whether you are a football, tennis or volleyball fan the season that the players have been preparing for all summer is finally here. This time of year is nostalgic for me because my children spent their high school summers preparing for fall sports. It was a busy time of the year, filled with so much hope, complaints about the intense workouts/drills, doctor visits for sprained ankles and broken bones, and joy when game day finally arrived. I now drive past their old high school to get a glimpse of the football games, roll down my window to hear the sound of the band and reminisce on the games that were played and won. What remains consistent in any sport regardless of the season, everyone participates to win. In order to win, many athletes discipline themselves and undergo strict regimens to meet their goals. Today, in 1 Corinthians chapter nine Paul the Apostle shares how he disciplined his body like an athlete. Join me as we finish chapter nine. Have a wonderful Monday!
“24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 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. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT
Throughout chapter nine, Paul discussed giving up his rights in order to save many. Paul new the mission and he was focused on the goal. In these verses, he reminded us that he is not practicing or pretending to be a contender for the faith, but he was “in-it-to-win-it”. Paul desired not only to win the prize, but to win souls for Christ.
Paul never mentioned the process would be or will be easy. He was even concerned about his ability of being disqualified/unapproved.
Sisters and brothers, the Lord will equip us and train us to run the Christian race with endurance. He will guide us with his hand and eye on us. So today, if you are weary of doing good, keep doing good. If you are discouraged and ready to give up, don’t give in…pray more, train/work hard, and ask the Lord to give you more strength and skills to endure the race and finish well.
Are you ready to get in or continue the race? If so, here are some quick questions for you:
- How will you discipline yourself to spend time with God and to hear from Him?
- When will you start?
- Who can you ask to keep you accountable?
Father God, thank you for our ability to train for a prize that will not fade. Lord, thank you for our ability to look to you for opportunities to grow in faith, to attend Bible studies to understand your word, to partake in conference/events designed to encourage us and give us tools/resources to keep pressing forward, and be members of a church body that nourishes so that we can flourish in our Christian walk. Lord, you are so faithful to us. Lord, we desire to change and follow you all of our days. Lord, help us to be more disciplined in our walk with you. Lord, help us to release the excuses we use for not reading the Bible, for disregarding church attendance and finding things that become more important than time with you. Lord, we want to run the race well, we want to finish well and we want the prize – to be with you for eternity. Lord, we don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines or in the stands. Lord, we want to run with purpose. Lord, reveal your will to us and fill us with the tenacity to keep running the race to win the prize and see lives changed. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Keep praying! Keep Trusting! Keep believing!
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