Monday, May 04, 2015

Marsha's Musings: How to Run The Race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV)

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. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV)

1. Run in such a way to obtain the prize
    A. Exercise self-control in all things
         1. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:5-10 ESV)
         2.  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)
        3. The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7 ESV)
    B. Have a purpose don't be aimless
         1. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21 ESV)
          2. For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, (Acts 13:36 ESV)
           3. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)
           4. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, (2 Timothy 1:8-9 ESV)

I see that self-control means that I remember that I have been cleansed from my former sins and therefore am humbled by this to where I want to be self-controlled so as to not fall back into those old ways.  Self control is a patient waiting for the appearing of Jesus Christ, while living an upright and godly life. It is realizing that we are in the last days, praying for strength to endure and be godly, exercising self control so as to not nullify my prayers in this regard.

To run with purpose means to pursue God's purpose for my life.  The way to do that is to " the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 ESV)

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