“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Elihu Anderson @ http://elihuscorner.com/
Original post @ https://elihuscorner.com/2016/05/18/run-with-discipline-day-9-of-encourage-marathon/
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
Welcome to mile-marker 9 of our 26-day #Encourage Marathon! (You can read yesterday’s post here.)
Someone out there is feeling aimless today. It might even be you.
Sometimes in this race of life we become distracted by our pain, the ugliness or beauty around us, the other runners and sundry temptations. We forget why we started running in the first place and drift aimlessly down the road. It’s time to get back on track and start running with discipline.
Before we can get “back on track,” we have to determine where we are going and why we want to get there. In our passage today, Paul says that we run to receive an imperishable crown. Our goal, in effect, is eternal life. The ‘where’ therefore, is heaven. Why do we want to get there? Our ‘why’ usually starts with a desire to avoid eternal suffering, but as we grow in our faith, we want to get there so we can be with the Lord that we love so much.
[Before I get too far, it’s important to point out that we do not get to heaven by our own means or merit. We are saved by grace through faith. Faith does not mean giving mental assent and then sitting on your hands. Faith demonstrates belief by action as James points out in James chapter 2.]
How to run the race with discipline:
Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out
Commit the word to your heart. Daily.
This advice sounds cliché-ish, but it is a vital point. Before we take a step, we need to get our head in the game. We require sound advice. The most reliable advice we possess is contained in God’s word. Reading alone is not enough; we need to roll it around in our mind, determine the proper applications, and—this is the most critical part—DO what it says.
Again, more cliché advice, right?
Who is going to get us to heaven? It certainly isn’t going to happen by my own strength, is it? I need help from the Lord. It is imperative to seek His help every. single. day. Each dawn brings new challenges. Each day, I have to decide if I am going to be selfless or selfish. Each day, I have to determine whether I follow Jesus or my own desires. Each day, I have to face temptation.
I can’t do it alone. Neither can you.
We seek God’s grace, forgiveness, and help. We do all this through prayer.
Bring your thoughts under control. Daily.
The battle begins in the mind. Satan doesn’t just use the physical to lead us away from the race, he attacks our thoughts as well. What did Jesus say, for instance, about adultery and murder? He said they begin in the heart.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
~ Proverbs 4.23, NKJV