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Friday, January 24, 2020

Making Every Step Count

In review of 1 Corinthians 9:25-26 this morning, I read All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing” (NLT).

Winning a race requires purpose and discipline. Walking with and obeying Christ takes hard work, self-denial, and grueling preparation. Don't just observe from the grandstand; don't just turn out to jog a couple of laps. Rather learn to train diligently, as my spiritual progress will depend on it. Self-discipline requires me to take an honest look at my strengths and weaknesses with an emphasis on the latter. It means building the will to say no when a powerful appetite inside me screams yes. When I have self-discipline I can say no to friends or situations that would lead me away from Christ, or say no to laziness in favor of "can do" and "will do." Self-discipline is a long, steady course in learning attitudes that do not come naturally, and channeling my natural appetites towards God's purposes

Spiritual growth must be purposeful. I do not know how many days I have left. My next breath may be my last. So every step in my journey with Jesus should be taken on purpose.

I must be disciplined. To become the person God wants me to be, I must deny myself. When I do so, I won’t get to do everything that others do. I can’t follow everyone else’s plan and follow God’s plan at the same time. Being a disciplined disciple of Jesus means sometimes taking the more difficult path.

Olympic runners must give up all kinds of stuff that other people do in order to go for the gold. They must go to bed at a certain time. They must eat a certain way. They must train in a certain setting. They must deny themselves. They must count the cost.

Every step, Paul says, must be purposeful. That’s how I’ll finish the race God has marked out for me. Don’t be tempted by shortcuts. Rather stay on the straight and narrow path, and keep pressing forward toward the goal. Remember the purpose God has called me to. Remember the example of Jesus, who used his time on earth for God’s glory and was not distracted by the things of this world. So make every step count.

In summary, like an athlete who is discipline in their training, I too must run with purpose in every step. Walking with and obeying Christ takes hard work, self-denial, and grueling preparation. Don't just observe, or make half hearted attempt, rather learn to train diligently. It's a steady course in learning the attitudes that do not come naturally, and channeling my appetites towards God's purpose. Every step must be done with a purpose. Make every step count.

In retrospect of these verses and what they mean, I find myself getting distracted with work activities. Other times I find that I just want to find a shortcut to get there sooner. My morning times are a great help toward filling me with perspective. I need to keep them in mind beyond the morning time and consider how to keep them at the forefront throughout the day. I pray today Father that your help me with having your Spirit within me remind me throughout the day. I also pray and ask for wisdom and guidance for my day, my work, my leadership and my interactions with others. Help me with the perspective to make every step count. These things I ask in your Son Jesus name, Amen.