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 (NIV)
I have entered into training. For what are you now in training? You are asking me? Yes, I am asking you. I want you to describe your training. I was hoping that you would describe my training. You have just told me that you have entered into training. Yes, I did. You should be able to tell me the purpose of your training. That I can do. I want to run well. I want to stay on the course that you have laid out for me. I want to finish strong. I want to finish the race. I want to win the prize. I want to receive the crown that you have for me. Those are all very good desires you have in your heart. Why is that? You know the importance of spiritual training. You will not be satisfied with jogging through your race of faith. You will not sleepwalk on the course that I have laid out for you. You have a desire. You have a passion. You want to go where I lead you. You want to do what I ask of you. You will not give me half-hearted, reluctant efforts. You will give me your all and best right up until you cross the finish line. Yes, I will. But I will need your help. I cannot train alone. I cannot run alone. I need your power and strength to keep me running well. I will be with you to help you. You can be certain of that.
You are a little uncertain about your training. You are not quite sure what your training will look? That’s true. You must have some ideas of what your training will look like. I do. Let me hear your thoughts and ideas. You will train me as I come to you. You will train me as I meet with you in your word. You will train me as I meet with you in prayer. You will train me as I meet with you in worship. You will train me as I gather together with other believers. You will train me as I follow and serve you. You have answered well. What is one common element to all your training? You will be at the center of all my training. You will train me as I draw near to you. Is that also true of your running? Yes, I will run well as I keep my heart and mind and life focused on you. I will run well as I follow you to where you lead me. I will run well as I do what you ask of me. You will be in charge of my training in every step of the race I take with you. Yes, I will. Thank you, Lord. Run well. I will. That will be very good.
Lord, I want to run well and finish strong. Help me to stay on the course you have laid out. I will enter into strict training. My heart and mind and life will be focused on you, so I don’t run aimlessly without direction. Help me to win the crown you have for me. Amen
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