THURSDAY March 8, 2018
A Disciplined Life
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Paul had one goal––to win! Nothing was going to stop him from serving the Lord. He disciplined his life and gave to the Corinthians the illustration of fighting like a boxer. Do you know what, not as one who beats air means? He is not fighting as a shadow boxer. Paul was not just pretending; in the spiritual warfare, he kept his body under submission.
Paul, by saying, I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, used a term in the Greek language that literally meant, “to give himself black eyes” all day long. Paul was saying that––I beat myself black and blue to keep my flesh down. He concluded that he brought his body into subjection because he did not want to be disqualified––no possible way.
How many pastors, elders and sheep––those people in the
congregation––were on fire for the Gospel when they were first saved? They witnessed to so many people and then, later you hear that they have grown cold––slipped away from their faith and became backslidden; they are no longer walking with Christ. Then what happens? People get stumbled because they are watching people’s lives; it is the nature of man to watch other people.
There are so many who begin the Christian race, but where are they now? Some are disqualified from running the race because they have fallen into sin. They have never finished the race. It would be good for them to lay aside the sin that has ensnared them, and by God’s grace, get back up again. If that is you, get back up and finish your race!
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
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