Tuesday, November 10

Run with purpose in every step

Scripture: Psalm 122, 1 Corinthians 9-11

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Observation

Paul loved athletic metaphors, and the early church fathers picked that up from him and loved to talk about being athletes for Christ.  Championship performance is the result of long-term sustained focus: “I run with purpose in every step.”  As Mark Few likes to say, “Activity is not achievement.”  

What was Paul’s purpose?  In the verse before he says:

1 Corinthians 9:23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

He was focused on spreading the good news of Jesus, helping as many people as possible find and follow Jesus.  

Later, he adds that he does everything for the glory of God and “the good of others so that many may be saved.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

Paul had a clear purpose and focused on it—he ran with purpose in every step.

Application

I want to have that same clear purpose.  I want to have Paul’s laser focus, and live for the glory of God and the good of others so that many may be saved.  I want to “run with purpose in every step.”  

That means evaluating each thing I do.  Is it moving me toward my purpose or away from it?  

Prayer: Lord, give me this kind of clarity, focus and purpose!