Running the Race
Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 18-20; 1 Corinthians 9
Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Imagine that God appeared to you tomorrow and told you that in one year He wants you to run a marathon. Imagine also that God is not just asking you to just run in the marathon, but He actually wants you to win. After you get over the shock and awe of being in the presence of God, what would you do about His challenge? (Before you dismiss the question as being ridiculous, I will remind you that God once spoke to a man using the voice of a donkey, so while I admit my scenario is improbable it is certainly not impossible for the all-powerful Creator of the universe.) The way I see it, given this scenario, you would have three choices. You could either not even bother entering the marathon at all, do nothing for the next year and then enter the marathon with no training, or spend the next year preparing trying to do everything you can to win that race. Today’s key passage is all about option number three.
In today’s key passage, Paul is speaking to church in Corinth and says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) In this verse, Paul is not just talking about an actual race – he is talking about life. If we approach marriage, church, work, school, friendship, or following Christ with a casual attitude, we are destined to fail. We must approach these areas of life with an attitude toward winning. We must approach these areas of life determined to put everything we have into them, and run.
The best way to try to win the race of life is through preparation. We can prepare ourselves through prayer, reading Scripture, and getting to know God better. Just like the marathoner preparing a year out, we must diligently train in these areas to prepare for the race of life. We can never get lazy. We can never get casual. We have to work. We need to develop our desire to win in all of the different areas of our lives, be it in our marriage or in our walk with Christ. As Paul points out, we must be focused and not be “like a man running aimlessly”. We must practice self-control and figuratively “beat our bodies and make them our slaves”. We must never lose sight of the reason that we strive to win in all that we do – the prize. When we keep our focus on the right thing – Jesus Christ – we can prepare ourselves to win in life, and we can prepare ourselves for our eternal reward. When given the choice in all of the areas of your life, do not choose to sit on the sidelines and not participate. Do not choose to casually try. Choose to put everything you have into every relationship, and choose to “run in such a way as to get the prize”.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on March 24, 2014, in 07 - 1 Corinthians and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, First Epistle to the Corinthians, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Paul, Religion, Salvation, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.