Thursday, January 12, 2012

For the Sake of the Call

I’m not a big fan of sports, neither watching nor playing, but I can appreciate the time and talent that goes into having a winning team.  In order to achieve that level of success, the athletes must be focused and self-disciplined – attributes that the Apostle Paul talks about in his epistles to the churches.
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.  I Corinthians 9:25-27
Paul speaks of training, but not to win a gold ring, or big trophy.  He trained with one purpose in mind, I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Phil. 3:10-11)

I want to know Christ...

What kind of training is required to achieve this goal?   
  •  Fixed eyes - Have you ever watched someone run?  Their eyes are fixed straight ahead; they don't look down at the ground in front of them, but keep their eyes straight ahead.  That's how we need to be.  
    • "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen"  2 Corinthians 4:18
    • "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus."  Hebrews 3:1
    • "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."  Hebrews 12:2
  • Focused on the goal - How are runners able to keep going? By focusing on the goal they have set before them.  They don't keep looking back, and we can't either.   
    • "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13-14
  • Faithful to the call - If you are going to complete the task set before you, you must be faithful to the schedule, faithful to the training, faithful to the pursuit.
    • "Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."  1 Timothy 4:7-8
  •  Fight to the end - It doesn't do much good to fix your eyes, focus on the goal,  and be faithful to the training if you're going to stop halfway through.  We must be willing to fight until we have achieved our goal.
    • "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."  2 Timothy 4:7-8

Do you want to know Christ?  Are you willing to count the cost, For the Sake of the Call?

    Many blessings,

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    1. We run for an eternal prize. We must stay focused on what's ahead. Great encouragement today, Lisa.

    2. I love this!!! What an amazing prep list! Thank you for sharing the verses also! We must be prepared if we accept His calling, and He longs to train us up in His way.

      <3 Kendra

    3. I like it Lisa!! What we need to do to train...YES!!

    4. Looking unto Jesus, to his saving grace
      Looking for a city where he’s prepared a place
      Looking unto Jesus, we can run the race
      Knowing he’s the author and perfector of our faith
      Lovely reminder Lisa, and thanks!

    5. Permission to print this up and put it on my wall? I need to read it often in the coming year.

      Over Christmas I read The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. Good book on the topic.

      Thanks, Lisa.