1 Cor. 9: 24-27
9:24 Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.
9:25 Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
9:26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air;
9:27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.
-starting off with Paul and Corinthians time Olympics then. Example some people in Church then, maybe went to Mt. Olympus to watch the games. History told here. The Games were played about 8 miles from Corinth within a year of this particular letter Paul wrote. Perhaps, as pastors today go to Athletics events with parrishiners or to see one play. Sounds like Paul has seen these games and Definitely His congregation, or some of them did. Paul Maybe saw the boxing match there?
-tying in with, kind of neat this passage is now, the Winter Olympics.
-Emphasis 9:26 "Boxing the air" Paul must have seen boxing? hmmm. I think about playing around and boxing air, alot of kids do it. The image they have of being a great boxer. But, if opposition comes there's two hits- one hitting them and them hitting the floor. They weren't really prepared,properly trained,equipped, it was for show.
-Is the church complacent like this? Boxing air, for show. Paul doesn't want them to be. Pastors don't either for today's church. What does that playing like really prove? Nothing to God.
-When you think about 1 Cor. 13 can be emphasized here- With LOVE, true Love. Really doing in Love, or just for Show(Valentine Message for the day)
-back to 9:24-25, 27 I use the "cool runnings" example, the Jamacian Bobsled tean back in the 1988. Jamaica would even have one? Tropical there. Even though things didn't line up and obvious affirmations in line- they did it somehow. They made the Olympics. Yeah, they didn't win a gold medal, but just the fact they made it was like a win for them. In the movie they protrayed them walking their bobsled across the finish line...Bobsled is a timed race, when a bobsled tears up...hopeless, right? but those four men picked up their bobsled and walked across the finish line. Yeah, maybe a slow time, but they finished the race.
-I think, that's one of Paul's points here. Strive to do your best, even in terrible conditions, finish the race, Don't Quit! Quitters Never Win!
-The Other point Athletes exercies, Church we can't sit on our Laurels(pun). Exercise spiritually- Pray! Study God's Word! Put it into practice Daily.
-Why? Because we might not be like a Michelle Kwan and get to have another Olympic try. We may just get one chance.
-Time is of the essence, we can't Air Box, be for show, Church exercise-be trained,equipped. Yes, this may be an effort, punishing the body like athletes to. NO PAIN, NO GAIN, right? This passage stresses Paul others where he speaks of taking up the cross daily, suffering for Christ, with Christ, in Christ.
-This week Valentine's Day comes, and as your hearts turn to your loved ones, Husbands,Wives, Boyfriends, Girlfriends, Family; Think about REAL LOVE and PASSION. Sometimes we use those words synonamously, Passion or Passio in greek means suffering...In true Love and finding it, striving for it Winning it, there is pain to gain...point to think about.
-Just as the athletics train most of their lives for this " Olympic Moment" Most one get One time.
Run your race.
Strive for the Prize.
Don't be for show.
Keep it real for the Lord.
As not to be disqualified.