The Bible – New Living Translation
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
I believe that the best way to relate to someone is to speak with them in terms that they can identify with. If speaking to a carpenter, speak in terms of what little you understand about carpentry. Paul was speaking to a church that lived and breathed sports, because the Isthmian Games (similar to the Olympic Games today) took place in a nearby town every two or three years, so they understood sports and the idea of conditioning to win a race. We should keep this in mind when speaking with folk about the Lord. In order to build a rapport with someone, a mechanic shouldn’t go to a carpenter talking about engine parts and mechanic work, but rather, make it a point to speak more about the building trade. The analogy used by Paul is very important to us today friends. If we are preparing our souls for heaven, then we must first of all know the game master. All the studying you can muster up will not open the doors of heaven to you. Jesus said in His Word that there is only one way to get into heaven: (a) admit that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior; (b) believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that He died so that You might be saved; and (c) confess your sins to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and to accept you as His child. This is equivalent to being accepted into the games. Now to condition yourself in the Christian life you are to read up as much as you can on what God expects from you. Friend, this is all contained in the Bible, so make this your game book. Look into it daily so that you may strengthen your walk with the Lord. This will also grow you into the strong, conditioned child of the King that He expects. You see, He wants you to duplicate His life here on this earth so that others might see Him when they see and hear you. Winning the prize for the Christian, is to be present with the Lord when we are called away from this life (when we die). We want to be so conditioned, that when we stand before our King on that Day of Judgment, He will recognize us as one of His and that He will look at us and through a smile He would say “Well done, you have been a good and faithful servant”. Oh what a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see!!!! So friend, the big challenge for you today is: Do You know my Lord in a personal, relational way? And if you do, are you conditioning your spiritual life daily, so that you will be ready for the day you will see Him face to face? Please waste no time in doing this, I want to see you there when I look around for you in heaven! It will be worth it all!
Father, thank You for providing the Rule Book for us, the ‘Coaching Book’, in fact the Book that not only leads us to You, but also helps us to condition our lives into something that is pleasing to You. Thank You for the prize you have promised us at the end of the race that we call ‘life’. You never said we would not have challenges while living this life, but praise God You have promised a home eternally with You at the end of this life for all who have accepted You as Lord and conditioned themselves to live as Your child here on this earth. As a child of Yours, we can enjoy even the most challenging days knowing that we have a prize ahead that includes living with You, walking with You, talking with You and listening to Your comforting and loving words throughout eternity! Please help us to daily condition our lives with Your Word – the play book designed by You for Your children that help us to be all that You meant for us to be while still being here on this earth. Thank You Lord for being my Savior, my Redeemer and my soon coming King! I ask all this, and praise You, in the wonderful name of Jesus, AMEN!
NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.