1st Corinthians 9

This passage is loaded today. There are several places we could spend time in this reflection. I’d like to draw our attention to this particular area of the passage:

“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 someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1st Corinthians 9:24-27

Once upon a time, I was an athlete. I watched my diet; worked out like crazy; watched film; was faithful to practicing individual and team techniques. Before my body gave out, I was able to play at the collegiate level and experience my sport at the highest level I could attain.

Playing at that level did not require trying. It required training. Very few areas in my life have required the kind of intensity and dedication that football demanded of my life. However, I think faith has required more.

Most people I’ve met over the years have weak-minded, powerless understanding of following Jesus.  Mid-20th Century writer, G.K. Chesterton once penned, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” 

We want the benefit of the Cross without commitment to the King. Yet, in living into Jesus’ way we are given peace that extends our understanding; abundant life; total forgiveness; unending love; grace beyond measure...

These are not yours to earn, but yours to experience when you live into the way of Jesus. God tells us when we pursue Him with our whole heart, we will find Him. (Jeremiah 29:13) What do you have to lose?
 
Reflect:
  • Pause for a minute. Which of the following do you most need right now: peace that extends our understanding; abundant life; total forgiveness; unending love; grace beyond measure?
  • How would your life look if that was the marker of your soul?
  • What most keeps you from pursing God with everything you are?
  • How do you think God is trying to meet you right now? What will you do about it?

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