Friday, May 26, 2017

" the race well" -- (Nathan -- CA)

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

A couple of weeks ago on one of the speed hikes, Cor and I were talking about running and he asked me the question “Do you feel that you're disciplined in your training?”  I briefly thought about it and said “I think so…”  Well, I don't think this was the answer he was hoping for.  He challenged me to look up “disciplined” in the Bible and apply it to my life and my training, so that is what I did, and I’d like to share with you what I found.

In 1st Corinthians 9: 24-27 it says  24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

The Bible often speaks of living the Christian life as if we were running a race.  And following Jesus is clearly more than a leisurely stroll in the park!  The issue is not whether you will run the race.  When you became His follower, you were put in the race.  The question is not will you run, but how will you run?

Here are a few things I feel we must do to run the race well:

First, we need to stay in shape! I really like Paul’s perspective in 1 Corinthians 9:24: “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.” In other words, you need to be in it to win it, and, like any race, winning requires discipline. As spiritual runners, we must discipline ourselves in the exercise and dietary habits of prayer and reading God’s Word. Drinking at the fountain of prayer and digesting the food of God’s Word gives us strength and motivation to run and win.

Secondly, obey the rules!  Like all races, running to win means staying in the boundaries. Paul committed himself to living his life by God’s rules. He did not want to be “disqualified for the prize”.  As good runners, we embrace the rules and gladly submit to them.

Thirdly, we need to run light!  As Hebrews 12:1 instructs us, we are to lay aside every hindering weight and the sin that so easily plagues us. What is it that distracts you and what is the sin that slows you down?  Take them off and run light!

And finally, I have a couple more tips. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to be willing to persevere.  Our race is more than a few laps around the track—it’s a long-distance marathon.  And let’s face it, this marathon can be stressful. Sometimes it’s the wind of life blowing against us—or mud kicked in our face from the runner in front of us. But whatever the case, runners that win never give up!

And keep your eyes on the finish line because Jesus is there! When you run for the honour and glory of His name, He reaches out with the victor’s crown and says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” And in my opinion, that’s worth running for!

So I want to challenge each of you that in those last kilometres on Saturday morning, when you're going to be really tired, to think about what it means to be disciplined in the race of life, and to dig deep to cross the finish line with everything that you have.  We all know the feeling of disappointment at the end of a race where we know we could have pushed harder, or gone just a bit faster.  But this morning, lets make the decision to not let that happen in our lives and truly give Jesus our full-hearted effort in everything we do. 

No comments:

Post a Comment