THEME: RUN YOUR RACE
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NIV
“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.”
-Apostle Paul probably referred to the Isthmian games which were played in Isthmus where Corinth stood, and was familiar to his audience. Other popular games included the Olympian, Pythian, and Nemean in Greece where the contestants would undergo athletic exercise, which is similar to the currently times. Kenya is commonly known for athletics and participants engage in rigorous training to ensure they win during the marathons. In every race, proper preparations and believing you will make it is key before the actual race begins. God is calling us to believe in Him and walk in the purposes for which He has called us through faith, and we will receive the crown of life.
In every contest there is always a winner and a looser. 1 Corinthians 9:24 tells us that only the winner gets the prize. It comes on to contrast between the winner of a competitive game, and the one who runs the race to eternity. The one who runs to win a game receives a prize but unfortunately it wastes away, but on the other hand, the one who runs to wins the crown of life endures forever. Even though there are many distractions in every race, we are reminded to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith as we run our own races (Hebrews 12:1-2). In every significant contest, there are spectators who cheer the players. In the same way, while we are on the running track, there is a great cloud of witnesses who silently cheer us on and we reminded to lay aside every weight of sin that so easily ensnares us. Since the times are evil, we are called to look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and walk in it. In so doing, God will continue to shower us with His blessings. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill, but time and chance happen to them all. It is vital then to exercise the gift of discernment, for the fish does not know when the cruel net will capture it, nor is the bird aware of the snare ahead, so does man know when these evil times will suddenly befall them (Ecclesiastes9:11-12). In the race, it is vital to submit to Jesus and resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7). As we do so we are called to pray that the Lord will give us the wisdom to wait upon Him, so that as we run we will not be weary and as we walk we will not faint (Isaiah 40:30-31): When we rely on God wholeheartedly, then we will confidence declare like Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7). In your own race as a Christian it is vital to remember that we are called differently and we should journey in Christ faithfully as vessels of honor. Also that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus and we have victory in Him if we don’t loose focus on the cross and thus loose our faith.
Dear Heavenly Father we come before Your presence today with humble adoration. We exalt You and praise You for the mighty works You have done, and for Your faithfulness and love. Oh Lord we pray that You shall forgive our sins and cleanse us with Your precious blood. Father we hereby ask for Your grace to run this race as You have destined us. May You strengthen us in the journey of faith and in the race through the valleys, over the hills and in all situations. We trust in You and know that You will never leave us nor forsake us. May You take away all our burdens and stumbling blocks in our race of eternity. May You cover us with Your precious blood and surround us with Your hedge of fire. We call upon for Your help and our grace in times of need. You are our Provider and Sustainer, and our eyes are on You. May You bless us Lord and keep us. May You make Your face to shine upon us and be gracious to us. May You lift up Your countenance upon us and give us peace. Amen
Further reading: Romans 12:9, Luke 18:8