I wonder if you wear one of those smart watches that count your steps each day. They even buzz after you have been sitting too long to alert you to get moving. They seem to come preconfigured with the daily goal of 10,000 steps. I am thankful that you can make adjustments! Most things in life worth doing are not easy. Such things do not come naturally to us. But when a goal is reached, the joy of the prize can make the challenges of the journey fade away. Life is hard and God is good.
The Apostle Paul writing in the New Testament letter of 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NKJV) says "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
". Paul compares the Christian life to competing in a sport to win the prize. That means preparation, diligence (temperance), opposition that does not give up, rules to follow, a judge in charge, witnesses, and a prize to win. Paul makes the unique point that Christians compete for an imperishable crown, given when Jesus returns.
Maybe you don't like the analogue of Christianity as a competition with a prize at the end. I can relate to that. Let’s be clear Jesus won our victory on the cross. Salvation is a gift that we accept by faith alone. But Paul is making a point about our opposition and the prize. Paul says in verse 27 that "I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified
.". Paul is saying that the opposition is actually himself, his old self, competing against his new self, which is being transformed day by day by the Holy Spirit. That is a sobering thought. An ongoing internal battle
! The fruit of God's grace in our lives is, as Paul says, a disciplined life in subjection to the Lord so we live our best life for God today! The prize of the imperishable crown will far outweigh the conflict we now face. Life is hard and God is good.
This Sabbath/Saturday our Worship Service at 11.15am will include a message from the sermon series on the Feasts of the Lord found in Leviticus 23. There will also be a children's story by Auntie Norma.
Blessings to you,