AND so humbled by how much of a blessing my son is.....I received this email this morning, and, I just had to share.....I introduce you to my oldest, my first baby, my son...as a runner, he just completed his first marathon, in Las Vegas, 2 December. His time was 4 hours 45 minutes, and said that it averaged about 11 min a mile. To me, that is amazing! Right after the race was when this pic was taken....enjoy his post!!
My friend and mentor sends out a daily email with portions of his study of God's Word. Occasionally, over the years, I've filled in for him. I'm giving him a break for a week or so...and I thought that I would also send it out to a few family/friends. If you don't want to receive it, let me know, no big deal. Feel free to forward it or have me add anyone.
While I was on the Jr. High track team, I found a shirt in my local Christian bookstore with this verse on it:
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. 1 Corinthians 9:24
I thought it was pretty cool that the Bible talked about something I did and competed in. I wasn’t the fastest runner by any means, but I quietly had a competitive edge, and I loved that there was a motivational quote like this in the Bible: Run to win!
But I really didn’t know what that meant, and as I look back over my church-driven learning of God, there were a lot of mixed messages regarding winning and rewards in the Christian life.
Some have said that there will be massive rewards, others say that’s not fair and it should/will be all equal…and I’ve even heard many folks say “I’m not going to worry about if there are rewards or not. God will take care of that when we get the Heaven. I’ll just be happy to be there.” That attitude always struck me as hollow and potentially arrogant. It honestly sounded more like they said “I know I’ll get mine, but it’ll make me look mature here/now if I act like it’s no big deal.” I don’t know anyone who truly doesn’t want to be recognized; even if they are embarrassed by it…compliments and appreciation make them feel good and it validates their efforts.
So what is Paul getting at?
Let’s give the verse a little more context and see what we can discover:
24 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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 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
He’s clearly speaking about obtaining a reward of some sort
· Race analogy
· Only one gets the prize
· Run to win
· Runners à temporary crown
· “we” run à eternal crown
· Purposeful running/training
· Does not want to be disqualified
There’s nothing ‘gifted’here, so this isn’t about obtaining eternal life through Christ.
To be continued…