Todays readings.. 1 Kings 22, Jeremiah 49, 1 Corinthians 8&9
“SO RUN THAT YOU MAY OBTAIN IT”
Our quote is from Paul’s words in his 1st letter to the Corinthians, ch. 9. He describes life as a race and says, “So run that you may obtain it.“ [v.24] Obtain what? In the next verse – we find the answer!
An “imperishable” “wreath.”!
Corinth was a centre for sporting events, winners were awarded a wreath. Paul was drawing a lesson for believers there – from the objectives in life of those around them.
Paul observes his own objectives, “I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” [v.26,27] His point is obvious! So how well are you and I running in the race of life?
Paul’s running was centred on preaching, in spreading the gospel, sharing the ‘good news’ – which is what the word gospel means. “In my preaching,” says Paul, my aim is to, ”present the gospel free of charge” [v.18] We see how, especially in recent generations, many have made much money out of preaching what is largely a distorted gospel: they preach what people want to hear – as did the “prophets” to Ahab, about 400 of them, as we read today in 1 Kings 22 v.5 onward. They told Ahab “Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.” [v.6]. When a genuine “prophet of the LORD’ [v.7] was called – his message was different! But Ahab heeded the 400 prophets – and died in the battle that followed.
Let us have a clear vision in our minds of what Paul preached. Those who read God’s word regularly and thoroughly know how important it is to talk to others about the true and original gospel which is about the coming heavenly kingdom of God – to be established on earth, when “the meek … shall inherit the earth” [Matt 5 v.5] May we all feel more and more ‘inspired’ to “so run that you may obtain it“