Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Oct. 12, 2005

1 Cor. 9:24-27 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but {only} one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then {do it} to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

I was thinking back to when I was a teenager. Coming from a divorced home, I spent weekends with my mom and stepdad. One of the things that I remember from my times spent there were the neighbors two doors down. They had a daughter my age who had the meanest underhand pitch I've ever seen. She pitched for her high school softball team. Every time I was there, on warm summer evenings, I would hear the smack of a high speed softball in a catcher's mitt. With her dad behind the plate, she would practice her pitch. Over and over again, she would whip an underhand softball faster than I could throw an overhand baseball! What made her the softball player that she was? The endless practice sessions.

The apostle Paul at times would use the example of an athlete. Striving to win the race, and even boxing, being on target with the punches. That is what our life in Christ is like. But just as any athlete that is worth his salt, we must practice. Allow me to expound. A champ is not made on the field or track, but in the everyday workout. Champs are not made in the ring, as I heard one preacher say, they are only recognized there.

We love those times where it seems that all of heaven has come to meet us, like in a service where the Holy Spirit is really moving and changing people. But that doesn't happen everyday! You have to go to get up on Monday morning to face life. You have received the blessing of God, now it's time to put it into practice. That means we go off to work, realizing that we aren't just doing enough to make the boss think we're working hard, but really working hard as to God. It's putting into practice our prayer life. It's singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord, in spite of how we feel. It's incorporating God's Word into our everyday existence. It's living life in the everyday for Him, knowing that He shows up in the everyday! Some of the most awesome times of witnessing for me have been outside the church, just making "the most of every opportunity".

We all love to read Acts chapter 2. We rejoice at God's pouring out of the Holy Ghost. But the apostles couldn't live out their days in the upper room, they had to come down. And in chapter 3, we find them doing what they were supposed to do, going to the temple at the hour of prayer. And guess what? God showed up in their everyday! He healed a man who was crippled from birth! He will show up in our everyday, too. Use your today and everyday to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! God bless.

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