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RUN THE RACE TO WIN THE PRIZE

March 28, 2021

RUN IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU MAY WIN – Can I challenge you? Would you consider memorizing 1 Corinthians 9:24-27+? Then you can meditate on it the rest of your life’s race, asking the Spirit to illuminate it’s profound meaning and import for our once in a lifetime race. Beloved, we have only one chance to run in this race. The writer of Hebrews says “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1+) Note the little phrase “THE RACE” (not “a race”) which signifies the one, once in a lifetime, specific, personal race we each have been given the privilege to run. And this race is not a sprint but a “marathon” we are exhorted to keep running until we cross the finish line of GLORY when we see the glorious face of our Lord Jesus Christ (glorification 1 Jn 3:2+)! There is no second RACE, but only this one race. Therefore it behooves each of us to deeply ponder the meaning of this truth for our lives. One day we each individually will “appear before the judgment seat (bema) of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his/her deeds in the body, according to what he/she has done, whether good or bad (not sin, just of no eternal value)” (2 Cor 5:10+) How foolish would it be for an Olympic runner to squander the precious training time in trivial things as he prepares to run the one race, the most important race of his life!

So again I challenge you to memorize 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 paying special attention to the race qualifications and the sobering truth that we can be DISQUALIFIED (adokimos – not loss of salvation but loss of usefulness now and rewards in the future) if we fail to meet the qualifications. Paul follows with a list of things that can result in our disqualification in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11+ (craving evil things, idolatry, immorality, trying the Lord, grumbling) and then gives a sobering warning to every Christian runner “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed (present imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey – command to continually keep an eye on spiritual pitfalls and hindrances) that he does not fall.” (1 Cor 10:12+). Beloved, the race is REAL. The prize is REAL (and eternal). But the danger of falling and being disqualified is also a very REAL, “clear and present danger!” Memorize. Meditate.

Discipline (gymnazo in present imperative – you need the Spirit to obey) yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (cf “your eternal reward”).(1 Ti 4:7-8+).

May our Father in Heaven enable each of us to run “with the wind at our back,” in the power of His Spirit, nourished by His Holy Word, for the glory of the Lamb. Amen

RUN, BELOVED. RUN!

May our life motto be that of Eric Liddell who said  “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.”

May his tribe increase. Amen.

Play this beautiful song based on Hebrews 12

RUN LIKE HEAVEN – Psallos

Surrounded by this cloud of saints
Who lived their lives and died by faith
Keep running for the prize that’s sure to come

And when the run is all but done
With your weary feet becoming numb
Look to the ones who have walked the road before
The saints of old whose lives have called you to endure

And here’s one more

Consider Him, the Christ
The founder and perfecter of our faith
Who in spite of the shame and disgrace
Endured the cross, and he did it for the joy

Consider Him, the Son
Our example of what it means
To race and run by faith
He endured the cross, and he did for the joy

So lay aside every weight
And rid yourself of all your sin
Before you lies a lengthy race
Endure for the win

And when you find you’re growing tired
Of all the trials, pain, and scorn
Look to Christ and feel inspired
He has been there before

So lay aside every weight
And rid yourself of all your sin
Before you lies a lengthy race
Endure for the win

And when your Father sends the rod
And life seems to come undone
Remember it’s the love of God
It’s the love of God
It’s His love for his daughters and sons

So keep running, running, running
Keep running all your days
Keep running, running, running|
There is glory that awaits

Keep running, running, running
Keep running till it hurts
Keep running, running, running

Till you leave this earth
1 Tim 6:10-11 But FLEE from these things (desire to get rich, love of $) you man of God & PURSUE righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance & gentleness. FIGHT the good fight of faith. TAKE HOLD of the eternal life to which you were called..."
KEEP RUNNING…TILL YOU LEAVE THIS EARTH!

Related:

Steve Lawson – sermon – Run with Endurance

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Commentary https://www.preceptaustin.org/1-corinthians-9-commentary…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q6FTjogqE0

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One Comment
  1. Russell Davis permalink

    Bruce, this is a fantastic exhortation and encouragement to keep our eyes on the prize. One race and my goal is to finish strong, finish well. I forwarded this to my group and the other leaders in case they did not see this. I will work on memorizing this passage. That will surely help me in my “training”. Bless you!

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