The Power To See It Through
1st Corinthians 9:24-27
The Apostle Paul compares our life in Christ to a marathon race, like ancient runners coming into the Coliseum to finish the race before Caesar, who gives the winner the wreath (crown) of victory.
Three ideas are here for us to consider:
I. We must run the race with DIRECTION 9:24 “a prize” vS. 25 “we an imperishable wreath” Vs. 26 “not without aim”
Yogi Berra says, “If you get where you are going; will you like where you’re at?”
Phil 3:14 “I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” The ‘mark’ is the bulls eye of the target. Our bull’s eye is to meet Christ & hear his “Well done you good & faithful servant.”
Oswald Chambers-Jan. 1 reading:
“Give God your utmost for His Highest- Your best for His Glory”
That means you must surrender anything that held you back last year. Surrender every idol.
Apply: Are you willing to examine the DIRECTION of your life, its target, and its purpose?
II. We must run the race with Determination Vs. 24 says, “We run all out, running to win”
The Christian life is a marathon- not a dash or sprint, but a life-long journey of struggle, faith & determination.
We must run to win, not just to endure, survive, or finish.
Starting power and staying power are not the same. Remember the parable of the turtle and the hare?
Failure is NOT the issue, but your will, heart, and living determinedly for His Glory is the life issue.
Oswald Chambers says, “Give God your unstoppable determination- Your will becomes His way in you.”
Question: How much of your life is about SURVIVAL? How much is about SIGNIFICANCE?
III. We must run the Race with discipline vs.25 & 26-27 “self- control in all things” “not just shadow boxing” “I buffet my body…”
Apply: Living for His highest & being unstoppable in your determination will mean:
1. You and your Heavenly Father must spend much time together-you listening and learning from Him & His Word. The Spirit and the Word must empower your life-daily.
2. As you listen & learn He will lead you to people in need & to many destiny moments.
A few questions to ponder as we embark on the year 2016:
1. Will I love the truth enough to live it?
Would to God that each of us love the truth enough to truly live it, by embracing honesty and brokenness and sacrifice and surrender. For that to happen- SELFISH LIVING MUST GO!
Apply: How much of your life every day is about YOU?
It will take direction, determination, & discipline to break the bondage to self, culture, and stuff.
2. Will I choose to live by fear or by faith?
I long for all of us to choose the freedom of living by faith rather than being shackled by fear.
Illustration: Benaiah, one of King David’s mighty men is described as slaying a lion while “In a pit with a lion on a snowy day” 2nd Sam. 23:20
Chasing Lions in 2016 will require great faith. The fearful sit at home with a pussy cat on the lap!
3. Will I choose to play it safe or take risks? Acts 15:26 “Men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I long for all of us to choose to step out of our comfort zones and see what God can and will do with someone willing to risk his/her all on the reckless pursuit of the Kingdom of God.