September 03, 2020

In high school my brother ran on the Cross Country team.  It was never something that interested me,  but he seemed to enjoy it and did very well in his class.  Throughout scripture we find that our christian walk is often referred to as a marathon or race.  In Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth we see Paul using this running analogy as a reminder that we constantly need.

1 Corinthians 9: 24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

When we are young, the world teaches us to go after things that will make us successful and wealthy.  Nothing else should matter in this pursuit of so called “happiness.”  All of these things come at a cost and they are only temporary gains.  

In this passage, Paul brings us back to what matters in this life.  We are to live in such a way to not simply gain worldly treasures or fame that is fleeting, but to aim for something that is eternal.  Paul says in verse 25 that in order to win the prize, which we know to be Jesus (Philippians 3:14), we must go into strict training.  We must be willing to sacrifice daily what it means to be us in order to be more like Jesus.  We must pray more and study God’s word better.  If we want to truly win the prize then we have to commit the time required to get us there.  

It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, especially with social media.  We can easily get pulled into that same game of getting more stuff so I’ll be happier.  If we can set those things aside just for a moment, I believe we will start to see what an incredible gift that we have in Jesus.  He is eternal.  He is infinite. He is enough.

Father, I pray that today will be the day that I lay aside the things that I have allowed to come into my life that take my focus off of Jesus.  I pray and ask that you would give me strength through the Holy Spirit to overcome the temptation of distraction so that I can run this race with everything I’ve got.  In Jesus name, Amen.


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