Eyes On The Prize

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. 25 Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. 26 So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; 27 but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24- 27)

The decision to follow Jesus is a whole-life, whole-self decision. It is like running a race. Once you have decided to compete and have entered the race, you have made a commitment to run until you have crossed the finish line. The entire focus at that point is the goal of the race. Everything is done with the goal in mind. Everything is directed to running the most efficient, effective, and streamlined race so that nothing can detract from crossing the finish line and winning the prize.

Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-14

In verses 1-6, Paul reminds us of the example of God's people who were liberated from bondage in Egypt only to fall back into bondage in the wilderness. Even though they had tasted of the Lord's salvation, they were struck down in the wilderness. They had begun the race but failed to complete it.

Questions For Reflection & Sharing

1. List those things that Paul believes can knock us out of the race (verses 7-14):

2. How do these things "take us out" from following Jesus?

3. Why are we to "flee from the worship of idols?" How would you flee from the worship of idols today?

4. Why must we give caution when we "think we are standing?"

5. We are tested both by temptations and circumstances. How is God's faithfulness shown when we are tested (verse 13)?

6. How have you experienced this faithfulness of God? What are you giving thanks to God for today?