Updated: Aug 4, 2021
August 4, 2021
1 Corinthians 3:8
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
The apostle Paul uses the image of a running competing in a race often to talk about running the race or going for the prize of our calling in Jesus. New Zealand Olympian Nick Willis talks about distance running as a metaphor of his spiritual life. Click the picture below to hear what Nick has to say.
As Nick grew in his faith, his perspective on running changed. It moved from a metaphor to a spiritual discipline. He saw the importance of taking care of his body, his "temple,” with proper rest and nourishment so that he could use not only his gift of running, but his whole life to used and blessed by God.
The Bible contains many stories of people who were gifted by God for His purposes. Let’s remember that we all have gifts given to us by God that He wants us to use for his honor and glory. Gifts that when cared for and nourished can and will bless our own lives, and the lives of others. For Nick Willis, it is running. For others it may be the gift of leading, serving, encouraging, or teaching. Whatever our God given gift is, it must be cared for and nourished, and exercised. So, let us “Take care of our temple.” It is more than a symbol for living, of proper rest and nourishment. What if "taking care of our temple" is a spiritual discipline and calling. That means we put as much effort into caring, nourishing, and using, our God given gifts, as a long distance runner puts into their training and preparation.
Let us make the commitment to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
LET US PRAY
Do not let us neglect Your Spirit or the gifts You have given us. Give us the courage to use these gifts and the humility to not use them for our glory, but for You and Your glory. Help us see the good work You have ready for us and embrace that work with willingness and joy.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.