Posted by   Grace Ministries   |   Categories :   Devotionals

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27

In the realm of sports, athletes must undoubtedly endure extreme measures of discipline to achieve success. Enduring physical pain, mental stress, and social pressure are all experienced by professional athletes in every sport. Those who have very little interest in sports wonder why individuals will put themselves through such hardships. All participants in any sport understand what is needed to achieve greatness and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices.  

When Paul tells the believers in the city of Corinth that he disciplines his body, he is not referring to his desire to achieve greatness in the Olympic games or in any known sport. He uses terminology associated with sports because his readers understand the levels of commitment needed for success. Athletes who want to win must be totally focused on the goal that will bring victory.

Paul is completely focused and committed to achieving the goal of spreading the good news. Eternity with our creator is available for everyone who believes in the One who has restored the broken relationship. That relationship with God was destroyed by our own choice. But God’s plan was to send His eternal Son, Jesus, to bring restitution by sacrificing His life for all humanity. 

Just as Paul did not want his conduct to disqualify him from being able to spread the gospel, so too should all Christians have that same desire. As believers, if our focus is the same as Paul’s, then we will do whatever is necessary to be able to give the message of hope to those we know and love. There is no more effective and powerful influence to delivering that message than by a Christian whose life demonstrates the love of our Savior. When the Gospel is spoken by a loving child of God, the convincing power of the Holy Spirit will work to open hearts and yield the greatest result. That open, receiving heart may have been caused by the influence of a Christian whose life demonstrates that they are following the leading of God’s Spirit.

This week, if you are a Christian and you want to be like Paul, be determined to do everything possible to live in a way that others will want to hear God’s message of salvation. If you have not received God’s gift of eternal life by faith in Jesus, there is no better time to accept this gift than now.

May 27, 2024