Commitment & Discipline
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Winning a race requires commitment to a purpose and self-discipline. When I think of earthly men who embody this truth, I think of a father who was crippled by polio as a teenager yet went on to be married and raise four children who eventually committed their lives to Christ and a Christian walk. It wasn’t until the children’s adult years that they realized or appreciated the demanding commitments their father made to win his race. Another man who exemplified commitment is Roger Staubach as he brought the Dallas Cowboys from behind twenty three times to win – fourteen times in overtime, or in the last two minutes of the game. Roger won two Super Bowls, and as time ran out in the two Super Bowls that he lost, he demonstrated his commitment to win by persistently attempting pass completions in the end zone.
As Christians, we are running toward our heavenly reward. Paul’s illustration of hard work, self-denial and rigorous preparation describes the commitment and discipline to a rewarding, effective Christian life. Our commitment to Jesus and the essential practices of prayer, Bible study, and worship provides heavenly reward while here on earth. With a commitment to please God, we will give up whatever endangers our relationship with Him, and at times, even give up something good because of our commitment to follow Him.
Paul’s personal experiences in life provide additional examples of commitment and discipline. He was stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and still wouldn’t quit. Don’t merely agree with God; train diligently – your spiritual growth depends upon it. Read the Bible and obey, worship God regularly, pray fervently, deny sinful temptations, and live a life that will lead others to glorify God. That kind of commitment – the kind of commitment Paul wrote about – is absolutely essential to a successful Christian life.
Posted on Wed, July 13, 2011
by Dave Jones