Daily Devotion for May 22, 2017

'The Race'

Philippians 2:12-13, 15b-16 NAS

So then, my beloved... work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

...prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life...  

Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 9:24b-27a

Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave... 

Hebrews 12:1b-2

...lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sharing someone else's “true story” today... 

His Christian high school football team had just lost a game. They had not played well. The coach was chewing out the players. As he chewed the team, the coach accused the teens of being “satisfied” with their physical abilities in football...and he said that wasn't OK: “If you guys are 'satisfied' with your abilities right now, then turn in your jerseys: you are of no use to me. If you have no desire to improve or get better or go further in the game, leave right now: I can't use you...” The kids waited for the coach to continue, but he suddenly went silent. The Christian coach looked around at his team right then—he looked at each and every one of his players before continuing, “and it's the same way with your walk with the Lord. If you are 'satisfied' with where you are spiritually, if you are 'satisfied' with what you can do and with what you have already done for the Lord, then you are no good to Him. If you have no desire to grow in your knowledge of Christ and become more like your Savior, then He can't use you...”

Hmm... 

Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we are “satisfied” with where we are spiritually! We Believers are NOT on spiritual holiday, resting—we are in the race!” Use your Spirit and Word to remind us that we are of NO USE to you in this race, at this time, if we are “satisfied” with ourselves as we are (we are not “yet” like Your Son!). Specifically, we Believers need to actively, constantly and continually be: working “out (our) salvation with fear and trembling,” proving ourselves, holding fast the word of life,” “reaching forward to what lies ahead,” pressing “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” running “in such a way that (we) may win,” boxing “in such a way, as not beating the air,” disciplining our bodies “and” making them our slaves, laying “aside every encumbrance, running with endurance the race that is set before us,” and increasingly fixing our eyes on Jesus! Help us have the “work out” mindset, Father, as You “work in (us), both to will and to work for (Your) good pleasure.” We ask this in Your Son's name, Lord... 

AMEN!!!

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