Jan
19

The Race, The Rehearsal, The Ring

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The Race, The Rehearsal, The Ring
by Eddie Lawrence

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9: 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.

1. YOU'RE IN A RACE

-The race of the Christian life is a marathon not a sprint.
-You must train for the long run which requires more work than running a 40 yard sprint.
-People who can do well in a 40 yard sprint are terrible in a marathon if they have not trained for the long run.
-Christians are runners in for the long run.
-Fortunately if you trip up in a long run, you chance of recovery is much better than in a sprint.
-If you do not realize you are in a race, then you will not enjoy the prize that could be yours.

2. YOU'RE IN A REHEARSAL

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…..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.

-What you do everyday builds into you what you will need for every test. This is the discipline of the Christian life.

-Learn to pray daily so you do not exist on a 911 kind of prayer life when you only call on God in an emergency.
-Learn to give on a daily basis so that you will have sown what you need to have harvest when you are surrounded by famine.
-Learn to use God's Word daily so that when the enemy comes, your sword is handy and you know how to use it.
-You don't build a storm cellar during a storm, you prepare it ahead of time. Do the same with your life.
-See everyday as a rehearsal preparing you for those big tests.
-As a matter of fact, it is the daily workouts that equip us for the big tests.

3. YOU'RE IN A RING

26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.

-Paul saw purpose in ever step he took, each day he lived. This is the right way to have big picture thinking. You see how "today's choices" impact "tomorrow's results."

-Shadowboxing is the picture of a boxer fighting an imaginary opponent. Again, the idea is Paul saw himself constantly in the ring preparing so that when the test comes, he's ready.

Illus-Imagine an olympic boxer going to the olympics having done nothing between the time he qualified and the beginning of the Olympic games. These months of not preparing, more than likely, would spell an early defeat when the bell rang on round one of his first boxing match.

Conclusion– Don't ever let up or give up! As the writer of Hebrews says, "Looking unto Jesus…." Keep your eyes on him.

Realize you are in the race, every day you are preparing for the next test and the great day when you stand before Jesus the Christ.

See the value of shadowboxing so that you can continue to be useful and useable in the purposes of the Kingdom.

It takes a long term commitment in order to run in the long term race. Maybe you need to renew your commitment today….

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