Note our text from First Corinthians,
- “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” (I Corinthians 9:24 – NASB)
The professing believers in Corinth were a huge problem for the apostle Paul. They were having a great deal of problems keeping their walk in step with the Spirit. You might say they had many challenges, many circumstances that they just couldn’t seem to handle correctly. So Paul wrote them to instruct them in how they were to handle the matters that faced them according to the will of God. He wanted them to know how they could be running to win instead of constantly stumbling in life’s race.
Paul uses the Greek games for his analogy of being in life’s race, using them to illustrate the spiritual “race” of the believer.
Paul says many “run” but “only one receives the prize.” Then he commands, continually “run in such a way that you may win.” Seek to compete to “win.” Christian . . . . “Do you not know” that this is how you are to go about life?
- “And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (I Corinthians 9:25 – NASB)
We “compete in the games” don’t we? We are in this life and we are in this present world and we are going to and fro and we are, as we go, confronted with all kinds of situations that can be a challenge to our practice as believers. So know that “everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.” There you go Christian . . . . “exercise self-control in all things” as you go about life, running “that you may win” and “receive . . . an imperishable” reward.
- “Therefore, I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:26-27 – NASB)
The example: Running to win requires that we “run in a such a way” that is “not without aim.” Paul gives us his example of how he runs. That said, know what your goal is, who it is you seek to serve and please. Don’t be found to be like a boxer that is just “beating the air.” Bring your “body” into subjection to the Holy Spirit, being a vessel fit for God’s use. I would believe we desire to be running to win and not to end up on the shelf, “disqualified” as a useful servant for Christ, put into mothballs so to say, not losing one’s salvation but not gaining the reward.
Have a good day . . . and as you walk, run! Discipline yourself to run according to the training instructions as given in God’s Word, so as to win the reward for Christ’s sake, for the furtherance of His gospel.
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