Love and Praise, Paul

Strive for a Crown

I flip through the Spring catalogs, and I love the clothes. The pastel hues are so cute. I want to buy it all. I wish that I was one of those people who say that they have everything they need. Honestly, I have everything that I need too. I still want stuff. Why can’t I be happy with what I have? The bible tells us not to become slaves of men. Its probably fine to get a few new things in Spring, as long as I do so in moderation. Its so easy to get caught up the world. Fashion. How we look. The latest trends. I have to remember that I was bought at a price. You were bought at a price. We were all bought at a price. Jesus paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross for us. Since we were bought at a price, we cannot become slaves to men. I can’t let my worldly desires outshine God’s plan for me. Turn away from the pretty clothes and refocus my attention on the Lord.

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
–1 Corinthians 7:23 (NKJV)

We have to live our lives, like we are striving to win a crown. When you run a race, only one person receives the prize. We need to live life like we are running to win it all. We have to wake up each morning, and give each day everything that we have.

Striving for a Crown
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
–1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)

I have to admit, that these passages are hard to read. I am not that disciplined. I am trying. Each day, I wake up and try to do what the Lord wants me to do. I am a work in progress. I feel like God wants me to read this passage and take it to heart.  The passage talks about moderation and self discipline. We should be temperate in all things. We should do all things in moderation with self discipline. Our self discipline should rule over our bodies, like we are training our bodies for a race.

And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
–1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (NKJV)

What if we are all talk and no action? What if we preach God’s word, but don’t live it? Then, “I myself should become disqualified”. Ouch. I have remind myself that it is not all or nothing. When you train for a race, you don’t hop off the couch and run a marathon. You work up to it. You start slow, practice and increase your running distance gradually. I started reading the bible every morning. Then, I started reading devotionals with my kids. I don’t know what is next, but I have keep moving forward. My whole attitude and life will change as a result of my actions. God will help me and show me what to do next. My life is valuable. It was bought at a price. The least that I can do is start striving for a crown.

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