Oct. 20, 2014
From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The Bible reading for today is I Corinthians 9-11. From the reading, there are several thoughts extracted for our consideration. Reflect upon these thoughts as you strive to please God.
In I Corinthians 9:24-27, the Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to that of athletic competition. He implies several thoughts on how to be a champion which can be utilized to be successful in this Christian life. Consider the following four thoughts of a Christian champion:
Thought 1 – the person must have a strong passion or desire to want to win.
Thought 2 – the person must be dedicated or determined to win the race or prize regardless of the sacrifice required or cost.
Thought 3 – the person must remain focused during the training period as well as during the competition period.
Thought 4 – the person must be given to self-discipline; Paul declares, “anyone who competes for the prize is temperate “that is, he (she) exercises self-control.
The Apostle Paul employed these thoughts to aid him in running a successful Christian race. As a result, He wrote the following words near the end of his life, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on the the Day” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).
In I Corinthians 10, there are two thoughts Christians need to reflect on often to enhance their ability to defeat the tempter.
Thought 1 – Be careful when all is going well in your life (I Cor. 10:12). The tempter looks to take advantage of successes or triumphs in a person’s life. Immediately after the Father announced His pleasure in His Son, the tempter tempted Him (Mk. 1:9-13). The tempter went after the prophet Elijah immediately after he successfully defeated 450 of Baal’s prophets (I Kgs. 19:1-4). David was tempted by the tempter immediately after his victory over Ammonites and Syrians (cf. 2 Sam. 11).
Thought 2 – God will not allow the tempter to tempt you with a situation that you can’t handle (I Cor. 10:13). This among many other verses has been a source of great comfort for my family. God has confidence in our ability to manage this trial.
In I Corinthians 11, one of Paul’s many thoughts from this chapter is don’t forget to give self a self-examination (I Cor. 11:28). The failure to critique one’s life on a weekly basis can lead to spiritual sickness, even death. The partaking of the Lord’s Supper is a great time to give self a spiritual examination. The sacrifice of God and Christ should be an encouragement to maintain a life free from a hunger and thirst of the things of this world.
May these thoughts encourage you to strive diligently to please God and serve others! Let’s strive to be the best Christians possible.