by Pastor Greg Laurie
Playing by the Rules
"Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win." (1 Corinthians 9:24)
If you participate in an athletic event, you must play by the rules. You can't make your own. You can't say, "If I hit the ball eight feet, then that is a home run. These are my rules." That is not the way it works. You must play by the rules. Even if you hit the ball out of the park, you still must cross and touch every single base. If you miss one base, that home run doesn't count, and you are disqualified.
For example, if you want to compete in track and field in the Olympics, then you must play by the rules. One rule is that athletes are prohibited from using drugs like steroids to enhance their performance. We remember the 1988 Olympic games in which Carl Lewis won the gold medal because Ben Johnson was disqualified for steroid use. Johnson didn't play by the rules.
In the same way, this race of life we are running has a rulebook. It is called the Bible. It is not for us to pick and choose what parts of the Bible we like. You can't say, "I like certain truths in the Bible. I like the part about God's love and forgiveness. But this part about denying yourself and taking up the cross . . . that must not be in the original language. I don't believe it." You can't do that. If you are going to run this race, and run to win, then you must play the rules that God has given to you in Scripture. We must play by the rules, or we will be disqualified.
Copyright (c) 2003 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.