#DailyDevotion Live As If Only One Of Us Could Win Eternal Life
1 Cor. 9:24-27 24Don't you know that all who are in a race run but only one wins the prize? Like them, run to win! 25Anyone who enters a contest goes into strict training. Now, they do it to win a wreath that withers, but we do it to win one that never withers. 26So I run with a clear goal ahead of me. I fight and don't just shadow box. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that, when I've called others to run the race, I myself will not somehow be disqualified.
Yes, you’ve been called by grace. Yes, you have been saved by God purely out of the goodness and mercy won for you by your LORD Jesus Christ. Yes, your salvation is purely and solely the work of God in, through and by Jesus Christ’s work. Indeed, the certainty of your salvation rest squarely on our LORD Jesus Christ did.
Yet, this faith should not make us lazy Larrys. The devil would want nothing less than for you sit around doing nothing. He most certainly doesn’t want you growing in knowledge of the faith, unless he can use that to make you prideful. He doesn’t want you looking like God, loving your neighbor and especially loving, being kind to, and forgiving your enemies. Anything and everything he wants to keep you from keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ and the kingdom of eternal life he has promised you.
So I guess everyone in Paul’s day were big race fans. We have football, basketball, baseball and occasionally running during the Olympics. He encourages his people with a running motif. Live your life in Christ as if only one person in the world would win the prize of the kingdom and eternal life. You want that person to be you. How would you train to win that race? What sort of training regimen would you engage in? You would probably have a strict diet to stick to. You would engage in actually running a lot building up your endurance and speed for the real race.
So you do the same in your Christian life. Your strict diet consist of reading the divine scriptures regularly and meditating on them. It consists of regularly, weekly, gathering with the saints in hearing the Word of God, being taught its meaning, praising, praying and thanking God, and receiving the Lord’s Supper.
As those in training to with the kingdom of God and eternal life, we should be looking for every opportunity to do good. We should be most especially doing good, serving and helping our fellow Christians. Like our Father in heaven and our LORD Jesus Christ, we should be helping, serving, being kind to and sacrificing ourselves for those who hate us, our enemies. Isn’t that what God has done for us in Christ Jesus? (Romans 5:6ff).
We actually start living as if we are children of God, and well that is what we are, so we don’t become like those seed sown along the side, thrown among the rock or those thrown among the thorns. Why should we disqualify ourselves for the race by acting as if we weren’t actually participants. The fact that our salvation and the certainty of it is in Christ Jesus our LORD, should impel us to live as if it depended squarely on us and the lives we live.
Heavenly Father, grant us such a faith and your Holy Spirit, that we may live our lives as if we had to win salvation by our works so that you may be glorified by the world when they see our good works. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.