1 Corinthians 9:24-26
“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 someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air”.
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.
Vermont is a beautiful state. It has retained much of its charm that it is famous for. When you drive on the interstate, you will notice that something is missing – billboards. Vermonters have been very conscious about preserving the natural beauty of the state by resisting the commercialization of the state. It is a community that values the environment that we live in and the state has so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and bask in the state’s natural beauty. No matter what time of year, there is an outdoor activity to keep you focused on living a healthier and fulfilling life. I’m telling you this not so you will want to plan your next vacation to Vermont or move up here. I’m telling you that so you could appreciate the insane commitment that our outdoor enthusiasts live out every day.
Every morning I walk to the bus stop to catch my ride to work. The winter is brutal. Waiting for the bus means enduring sub zero temperatures, rain, snow, and wind that can easily reach 25 to 30 miles per hour. Every day as I stand waiting for the bus in the fore-mentioned weather conditions; I am amazed at the two women that I see every morning running together. Their commitment to get out and run in such extreme weather, and at 5:30 in the morning is both insane and inspiring. Don’t misunderstand me. There is no way that I am that ambitious. These two ladies are running because they are making a lifestyle choice and they have decided that one way they will live their lives is to train for various 5k and 10k events. One of them hopes to compete in the New York city marathon one day. With the commitment that I have witnessed, I’m sure she will.
The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-26, “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 someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air”. The apostle Paul is telling us that we have to be disciplined in the manner that we live our lives. If we can spend so much effort in training for a marathon or 5k race, then why can’t we apply the same commitment to living a life that ultimately will lead us to the prize of a life with Jesus in heaven. A life that bears witness to the world of God’s love for us. Paul tells us to “…run in such a way as to get the prize”. He tells us that, “everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training”.
To put this into the context of your life; don’t live life halfheartedly. Go all in! be committed to your walk with God. Live a life worthy of the prize. This will mean you will have to make lifestyle changes. You will have to make the extra effort to be the person that God has created you to be. The starting point of the journey is having a personal relationship with Jesus. God desires to have a relationship with Him. That can only happen through His son, Jesus Christ. His death serves as a bridge to God. It is a bridge that had to be built because of the sin that we all have inherited. The sin that Adam and Eve committed has been handed down for generations. Thankfully, God gave us Jesus because there was no possible way that we could forge across the great divide of sin that separates us from God on our own.
Choose today who you want to be. Choose the direction that you will run. Will you run to God or away from God? Paul tells in Romans 10:9, ”that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”. I want to encourage you to go all in with Jesus, and live a life that is committed to being the person that God created you to be. Most importantly, embrace the relationship that God desires to have with you. The reward is amazing.