“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.”
1 Corinthians 9:24
The word of God shapes our ideas and disposition. The word shows us both the will of God and the kind of devotion we are to exude towards it.
The word of God doesn’t just show us the ‘what’ and leave the ‘how’ to us. It goes on to show us how.
What is the will of God? What does it mean to show proper devotion to the gospel? Apostle Paul answers both.
In his second letter to the believers at Corinth, Apostle Paul informs the believers of God’s will for all who believe.
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
2 Corinthians 5:15
This is why I say that our purpose is to know Christ and to make Him known.
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
2 Corinthians 5:18
In his first letter to the same church, Apostle Paul had spoken of the attitude and devotion he discharged for the ministry he had received.
Our opening scripture reveals him encouraging the believers at Corinth to “run, that they may obtain an incorruptible crown”
“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
1 Corinthians 9:26-27
Apostle Paul uses sprints – racing to teach us about proper devotion to ministry.
He insinuates that while a 100-meter race might last for just 9-12 seconds, it takes years of intense training.
The athletes put their body under subjection temporarily for a reward, though temporal.
He, however, wants us to do the same for spiritual exercises and service in the Lord, for a reward that is eternal.
This is why I say “Many have sworn commitment to ministry, but only a man given to spiritual devotion can keep his word”. This is true devotion!