10 Signs of a Christian – 8.  Discipline

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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.  (1 Cor. 9:24-27)

Learn it:

            In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he tells them they need to surrender their lives to God and do his will.  He then uses the illustration of an athlete to describe how we are called to live our lives with discipline.  In a race there is only one person that wins the race and we are called to live our lives with that same dedication!  Why?  Because we are not going to win some temporary trophy but eternal life!  I’m no runner but the type of training it would take to compete for first place is a lot of work! 

            Paul talks about his own life and how he has diligently trained his body so that he can be a good example for others.  He does not want to get prideful that his ability to spread the gospel will get him into heaven.  He wants to always be striving to live a holy life so the people he witnesses to we will be encouraged to do the same thing.  Paul is a human as all of us and he too has to work hard to glorify God in all that he does.

Live it:

            Being a follower of Christ is going to take work.  It is more than just going to Church on Sundays.  If a runner only practiced running only once a week for an hour, then there is no chance they will win.  A runner has to be training every day to keep their body in shape for the race.  Their training is more than just running every day.  It means they have to be aware of what they eat, working out other parts of their body and making sure they take time to rest.  They can’t overwork themselves. 

            Christians we must be disciplined in our faith as well.  We have to have discipline in many areas of our lives as well.  We should have discipline in prayer, reading our Bible, in our work lives, and how we spend time with our families.  We also need to find time to rest.  This is going to take work and will not happen by accident.  Sit down and schedule out a typical week.  Make sure you schedule time for God and other ways for you to do his work. 

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