Although this is a passage I've read many times in my life, I read them completely different through this Bible study this morning.
Recently we watched many athletes compete against each other in the Olympics.
I know so often I just go through life and yet we are instructed to run.
The athletes that earn their way to the Olympics train themselves for days, months and years for that one race. When multi-gold medal winner, swimmer Michael Phelps was getting ready to race the commentators shared his daily training routine. Made me so tired and I was just sitting on the couch watching. His winnings demonstrate the discipline of his training. He is focused. When they showed him on TV, he had earphones on and had a set look of concentration on his face. He wasn't waving to his mom in the bleachers or texting on his cell phone. At the end of the race his
strict training paid off.
In verse 25 Paul again tells us to do the same thing. We need to be focused, we need to go into strict training. So what does strict training look like for a believer?
Determined time alone with God.
Reading His Word...memorizing His Word.
Staying focused on Christ takes devotion, dedication and determination.
Then instead of a gold medal put around our neck that will not last, instead we will receive a crown from God that is eternal.
Please take a quick second and watch the beginning of this clip of Phoebe from Friends running in Central Park. If you never watched that show, don't worry there is nothing bad. After the running scene you can click out of it if you wish. The whole thing only lasts a minute.
Paul said: I do not run like a man running aimlessly.
Verse 27 is what shook me up the most out of all these verses though.
Paul tells us how he beats his body into submission.
I've shared before about an affair I had years ago.
"The guilty plea in this matter and the circumstances surrounding it have been a very painful and life-changing experience for Marion Jones-Thompson," said the memorandum.
"She has been cast from American hero to national disgrace. This part of her story will forever be one of personal tragedy. To be clear, the public scorn, from a nation that once adored her, and her fall from grace have been severe punishments. She has suffered enormous personal shame, anguish and embarrassment. She has been stripped of her gold medals, her accomplishments, her wealth and her public standing."
When it comes down to the end of my life, I don't want this kind of thing said about me because I chose to make poor daily choices.
"Well done, good and faithful servant".
And when that fleshly sinful woman in you wants to rise up and run the race for you, remind her that Jesus Christ is now your track coach and she needs to step back and bow down before Him.
Don't be like Phoebe from that video and run aimlessly, instead be like Paul and run focused.