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)
Run in such a way that you will get the prize. What does that mean to you? A great runner trains with great discipline. Their entire life is focused on their training. A great runner continually pushes themself to their limit in each workout. After their workout they make sure that they eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest so that their body can recover and be ready for their next workout. This process repeats itself daily throughout their running career. It’s a never-ending cycle of workout, rest and recover. Day by day the great runner improves little by little until they are ready to run their race to win. They have a confidence about their ability to run well because they have paid the price by training hard. That’s right.
Are you in training? Yes, I am. You’re not training to run are you? No, I am not, at least not like a runner in a race. I do want to run well. But my race is not the physical race of running. I am not running to win a temporary prize like a trophy or an Olympic gold medal. My race is to run well for you. I am training to be all that you want me to be. I’m not primarily training my body, although my body is not exempt from training. I am primarily training my heart and mind and soul to be obedient to you. My body is a secondary part of my training so that it does not hinder my running well for you. My body must obey my heart and mind and soul. That’s right.
Are you all alone in your training? Do you have a coach to help you with your training? I am not all alone in my training. I do have a coach to help train me. I would never be able to train myself. I would be completely without hope if my training depended on myself. You are my coach. You are my trainer. Yes, I am. My main job is to submit myself to your training. How do you do that? I submit myself to your training as I meet with you every day in your word. Your word is my training manual. You guide my training by your word. You train me as you apply your word to my life. Yes, I do. I use my word to mold and shape you into the person I want you to be.
How will you know if you are running well? There is only one way that I can run well. There is only one way to gauge if I am running well. How is that? To run well I must keep my eyes on you. I must follow you to where you lead me to do what you ask of me. I will know if I am running well if I keep my eyes on you and do what you ask of me. If I were to take my eyes off you I would certainly run off course and have no idea where you wanted to lead me or what you wanted to do through me. So, you will keep your eyes on me? Yes, I will. You will keep meeting with me day by day so that I can train you? Yes, I will. Then you will be training hard, running well, and finishing strong. That is exactly what I will do. That will be very good.
Lord, help to train hard like a great athlete. Help me to run well and in such a way as to get the prize. Help me to keep my eyes on you so I do not run aimlessly without direction. Help me to finish strong and not be disqualified for the prize. Amen
Key Question… How are you training hard, like a great athlete, as you follow Jesus Christ?
Living It Out… Train hard, run well, and finish strong as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Seeing It Happen… Have faith that Jesus Christ will help you to train hard, run well, and finish strong as His follower.
Get Ready To Share… Share with another person or your small group how you are training hard and running well as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Prayer To Bless Others… May you train hard, run well, and finish strong as a follower of Jesus Christ.
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