Monday, Revival in our Hearts
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
In ancient Greek games, one race had an unusual objective. The runners held a torch in their hand, and the goal was not to be the first to finish the race, but instead to finish with the torch still lit. It is more difficult than it may sound, to travel a distance, against the wind and fatigue, and keep the flame burning until the end. What an incredible metaphor for life this “race” depicts. As ministry leaders, many of us may not have reached the goal that we set out for the year, but we can celebrate that the flame is still burning and we are still in the race. Yet it is still true that many of us need that second wind and that comes from being reminded of the reason we run this race. Read the words of Paul as he wrote to the believers in Corinth:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
I. It is a Privilege to Run This Race. Paul is reminding the believers it is a wonderful opportunity to be included in this Christian race. The Corinthians understood in competitive games, participants had to be invited. We have to keep in mind that being a part of God’s family is not something we should take for granted. Instead, we should keep in mind that it is not our own merit or worth, but the love of God that called us out of darkness and into the light.
II. There Is a Prize for Running This Race. Sometimes, we may ask ourselves, “what is it all for”? Beyond money, accolades, and power, there has to be more to look forward to in this life. A crown is perishable, it eventually fades away, but the people of God are focused in on an eternal prize. What better accolades can one receive than hearing Christ say “well done good and faithful servant”?
III. There Is Preparation Needed to Run This Race. No runner would have a chance at finishing a race if he is out of shape. Training is necessary to make it to the end. Seeking after a deeper relationship with God requires being more focused during your devotion time. Pray with purpose, serve with consistency, and get your flaws under control. Sometimes our biggest competition is our own selfish desires. We may feel sluggish because the lifestyle we are living is filled with junk food and a lack of spiritual exercise.
Lord, help us to remember the example of the ancient race. It is not about beating someone else, but instead enduring to the end. Please help us to push past the wall of resistance. We are tired, hurt, and frustrated at times. We ask you Lord to give us a second wind that will motivate us to finish with your flame still burning in our hearts.