24 Mar A Laser-Like Focus will be Rewarded
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9: 22-25
Here Paul is talking about doing whatever it takes to win people to Christ. The context is one of ‘I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.’
Paul is stating that he is willing to sacrifice whatever he needs to sacrifice in order to win as many people as possible to Christ.
That’s why he then uses the illustration of an athlete who has the winning prize in such clear focus that they will do whatever it takes to win. This requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice and strict training. The New American Standard Bible version puts it this way: “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.” Paul is challenging all of us to be willing to sacrifice and be self-controlled in our decision making so that winning people to Christ is a high priority.
I am challenged here to have a laser-like focus that helps me to function with a high level of discipline and single-heartedness. Eternity is at stake for a lot of people who are without Christ and I need to be willing to do whatever it takes to bring them into God’s family.
I know that God is reaching out to many people and drawing them in to relationship with Him. I can be a part of that as I embrace strict training and allow Him to guide me each day to make wise choices in loving people, exercising proper time management and growing in my own prayer life and teaching skills.
Thank You, Lord for helping me to see the tremendous value in self-discipline, strict training and self-control. I set my heart to follow You closely this day. Help me to be what you’re calling me to be these days. Help me to reach out to the lost and help me to be disciplined in all areas of my life so that I can be effective for You and your Kingdom.