Tag Archive | 1 Corinthians 9

Wisdom from the Sidelines

Through the Looking GlassBeing that we are in the heart of football season, I thought I would share with you a quote by the late, great Tom Landry, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys…

I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game.

Mr. Landry knew what success looked like. As the coach of the Cowboys for 29 years (an NFL record), he led them to the Super Bowl 5 times, winning the Vince Lombardi trophy twice. With a reputation for being calm and in control, he knew that the secret of success was not hyping his team on the day of the game, but preparing them ahead of time through consistent practice and discipline… preparation that would carry them to success on the field.

This is a great lesson for all of us as 21st-century Christians. To survive, thrive, and make a difference in today’s world, it’s not enough to show up at church on Sunday, go through the motions of a spiritual pep-rally, get an ecclesiastical “shot in the arm”, and think that is all there is to the Christian life. Don’t get me wrong… gathering together with our brothers and sisters in Christ is VERY important, but living an overcoming life in Christ is SO much more. It takes personal time in prayer, time in the Word, and time alone with God in worship and meditation. Paul knew, not just the importance of thoughtful and disciplined preparation, but the consequences of failing to adequately prepare when he said…

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. ~ I Corinthians 9:24-27

As you set about a new week of school, work, and play, now is a great time to get into the practice and habit of time in the Word, prayer, and seeking God’s face. Start today, and watch the difference it makes in your attitude and outlook.

Run to Win (A Bear Story)

I am reminded of a story I once heard…

Two friends were hiking through the woods when they happened upon a bear. Hoping they had not been noticed, there hopes were quickly dashed when the bear, still a ways off, began to charge them. Panic seized them, and one began to run as fast as he could away from the rampaging bear. The other, who was several yards behind his friend, quickly sat down, ripped off his hiking boots, and began strapping on his sneakers, which were in his backpack.

As the first friend passed the second, he screamed, “What in the world are you doing? You can’t outrun that bear!”

“No,” came the reply. “But I can outrun YOU!!!”

In Hebrews 12, Paul implores us to “run with endurance the race set before us”.

In 1 Corinthians 9, he tells us to “run in such a way as to obtain [the prize]”.

Sometimes we feel like we’re running to something, and sometimes if feels like we are running from something. However the race looks to you, God wants you to run it to receive the prize. As the saying goes, “Be in it to win it!” He who called you will also equip you (Phil. 1:6). Whatever race He has called you to run, He has made a way for you to come out on top. Just trust in His goodness and His strength, and run to win.

You can do it! That’s a promise from Him (Phil. 4:13).