Thursday, January 12, 2012

a race well-worth the run

"Don't you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way to win the prize.  Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything.  However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away.  Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one who beats the air.  Instead, I discipline my  body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching it to others, I myself will not be disqualified." 
-1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Holman Christian Standard Bible

My hometown of Houston this weekend will host the Aramco Half Marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon, and the time trials for Olympian Marathoners.  So, I've been reading articles like a fan!  This, with some help from friends, has inspired me to run more lately.  When I think of running, sometimes I turn to encouragement to hang in there to stick with it.  Today, in these verses, God reminded me about perseverance in the faith. The Holy Spirit gives believers courage to keep following Him and sharing what Christ has done for the world. 

As I think on this, I'm wondering, how can we be a living testimony of who God is?  This is a part of what Paul was saying, I think, when he said, "I discipline my that after preaching it to others, I myself will not be disqualified" – from reading the chapter, I think he meant that he wished to live out the gospel that he believed.  He doesn't continue living the faith because he fears losing his salvation, but he does it to honor God.  God gave him this desire to keep sharing the good news that Jesus Christ came to die for all we've done against Him. 

God's grace is incomparable, and I pray we share it with others (Acts 20:24).  It can be an encouraging reminder, since we are not perfect, that we can trust in His power to help us follow Him.  We can count on the Holy Spirit and God's Word in the Bible to give those who believe in Him the strength to live out and share their faith.  It's my prayer that we keep our trust in Him, our Redeemer.

(photo of Nick Arciniaga by Photo Run, found on