“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. 25 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. 26 Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1Corinthians 9:24—27)


         Paul uses the illustration of a race where every run, only one gets the prize.  Paul is talking about the believer’s race of faith.  For those who run in the SERIOUS race to win a prize, they run intentionally.  Many people run for a different reasons.  Some people may run just for fun.  Some run just for health benefits, while others may just run for the love of running.  But these are different from the type of runners Paul alludes to.

         Paul is alluding to serious runners to win a prize.  Paul refers to any runner aiming to win a prize in the games which must go into STRICT training.  But they do it for a crown that does not last forever.  People who run the race seriously do not just do things AIMLESSLY.  They have a purpose in preparing themselves for that prize that won’t last.

         How much more that we, who run the race of faith, take our training seriously?  How much more that we put ourselves under strenuous preparation to run our faith race till eternally?  I learned from what Paul said about his preparation for his race of faith. 

  • Run in such a way as to win a prize.  This requires an intentional approach. 
  • If we compete in the race…we need to put ourselves into STRICT TRAINING spiritually.
  • Intent on running the race for the eternal crown
  • Do not run AIMLESSLY…We must not waste time on things that don’t matter.
  • Stop wasting time shadowboxing with activities and issues that have no significant meaning to your purpose.
  • Become a slave to your goals and purpose.


         I would be the first to admit that I need these words.  I sometimes shadowbox with issues that do not help me fulfill my life goals.  I am still learning, and I want to live out the truths Paul shared about preparing for my race.  It is always possible to correct to run my race of faith effectively.  The race is a daily challenge, not just a seasonal happening.  I will continue to see that I am a slave to Jesus’ purpose and calling. 


         Jesus, you know where I need to focus my attention in my race of faith. Please continue to teach me self-discipline in all matters.  Would you please lead me and guide me?  Please speak to me daily about my need for preparation insufficiency.  Teach me to manage my time well and correct some of my preparation’s shortcomings.  I need you, Lord.  Amen!