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 certainly want to be able to do that. You certainly want to be able to do what? I want to be able to run well. I don’t want anything to hinder me from running well. I don’t want to allow anything to knock me off course. I want to be able to complete the course you have set before me. I want to end well and finish strong the race you have given me to run. It sounds like you have thought quite a bit about running well. Yes, running well is not a new subject to me. I have thought about running well most of my life. That’s good.
What must you do if you want to run well? What must you do if you want to stay on course and finish the race, I have given you to run? I must enter into strict training if I want to run well and finish the race you have set before me. I must also eliminate and avoid any obstacles, hindrances or barriers that will prevent me from running well and finishing strong. What will go into your strict training? You tell me, you are the coach. Good answer. I will allow you to teach and train me. I will go wherever you guide me. I will do whatever you ask of me. So, you will need to listen attentively to me? Yes, that’s right. How will you come to listen to me? I will listen to you in prayer. I will listen to you in your word. I will listen to you in worship. Do each one of these sound like an element of your training? Yes, they all do without a doubt. Can you think of any more ways you will listen to me? Can you think of any more elements of your training? I will listen to you in service. What do you mean by that? I will serve you whenever, wherever and however you ask me. I will use all the gifts and talents and abilities you have given me to serve you. Serving you and others will definitely be part of my training. Yes, it will. How else will you listen to me? Can you think of one more element of your training? I will listen to you in fellowship. Say more about that. I will meet with you, together with other believers, as we come together to worship you. You made me to live in relationship with you and your body of believers. Yes, that’s right. I will receive a great deal of training as I live in fellowship with you and others. Yes, you will. As you meet with me in prayer, my word, prayer, worship, service and fellowship you will be trained and prepared to run well and finish the course I have set before you. Focus your heart and mind and life on me and you will be able to avoid any obstacles, hindrances or barriers that would prevent you from running well and finishing strong. That I will do. That will be very good. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I want to run well as your follower. I don’t anything to hinder me on the course you have set before me. I will eliminate anything hindering me from running well. I will avoid anything that might knock me off course. I will enter into strict training with you. Amen
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