RUN TO WIN
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. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (ESV)
In Paul’s time, people obsessed about athletics as much as we do today. In fact, many of our modern day track and field events have roots going back 2,000 years or more.
In those times (as in ours), many could participate in a race, but only one runner could win. Winners were given a “perishable wreath,” which soon wilted. Winning athletes were significant heroes.
But unlike the races of the time where only one person could win and receive a temporary prize, Paul talks about another race and another reward: one that’s attainable to everyone.
Winning a race requires strict discipline and focus, and our journey to salvation requires nothing less. As Christians, our significance is in Jesus. Once we have received the crown of glory, we are significant in the eyes of God. It is a free gift of God to all who seek and accept the forgiveness of sins and invite Jesus to live in their hearts.
Our Christian significance sets us apart from the world. We are called to be holy and to continue to discipline ourselves so as to not slide back into the world. We do this by studying the Bible, praying, and focusing on Jesus daily.
Heavenly Father, I am running the race. I have chosen You as my Savior and Lord. Help me to stay in shape and follow the discipline of leading a Christian life, knowing that one day, I will wear the crown of glory forever. Amen.
How often do you focus on your significance as a child of the King? How disciplined are you in your daily devotional life? Focus on both, as you celebrate your significance in Jesus.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
FROM THE WISDOM OF RENO ZUNZ:
God calls all Christians, but often we are hung up on various challenges that we have to overcome:
▪ CULTURE – Friendship with the world is an enemy to God. The world runs on three roads, Madison Avenue, Wall Street and Hollywood Boulevard. Our country has lost its focus.
▪ CLUTTER – Our lives are filled with busyness that replaces our time to honor and worship God.
▪ COMPLACENCY – The Bible says we should be alert. There is no Biblical command that tells us to fall asleep at the wheel. We are saved with a holy calling. It is a part of our salvation. Our calling is personal, graceful, purposeful, spiritual and eternal. Like sheep, we are called to actively follow the shepherd.
▪ CALLING – We are called to be a person of integrity and holy character…. a vessel for honor. We are to have compassion and not be judgmental, yet firm in our faith, knowing what we believe. We need to show others who we are before we share whose we are. We are to be Christ like knowing that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. No one can have eternal life in heaven but through Him. Be prepared for whatever God’s plan and calling is for you.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at TheLife.com and Thoughts-About-God.com. You can subscribe directly to those on their respective websites.
Your feedback is welcome and if you want to be taken off the mailing list a simple e-mail will do it. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to John.Grant@johngrant.net. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2015