15th Aug, 2018 Day 227

1 Cor 9:19-10:13

One of our chief aims is to make disciples – that task was what Jesus left ringing in the ears of the 11 apostles when he ascended to sit at God’s right hand. So Paul tells us to get into the world, get our hands dirty and get into the culture in order to reach it, while not sinning!

He tells us to run like an athlete wanting to win – that takes self-control, discipline and a plan.
Athletes need to be self-controlled about diet, training and sleep – are you self-controlled in those areas? I find going to bed early and not snacking a constant battle!

Paul then moves on, in chapter 10, to illustrate that – by drawing on the parallels with Israel’s Exodus from Egypt.

Israel Christians
Under the cloud Presence of the Spirit
Passed through the sea Baptised in water
Under the cloud Presence of the Spirit
Spiritual food (manna) Communion
Drank from the rock (water came out of it) Jesus is our rock and satisfies our thirst

Nevertheless Israel was a mess – full of idolatry, sexual immorality and grumbling. Just like the Corinthian Christians. Paul’s making the point that just because you are baptised in water, got filled with the Spirit and take communion, that doesn’t make you mature as a Christian.

Paul is urging them and us to keep pressing on – witness, run the race with self-control, discipline and a plan.

Verse 13 provides much needed help.

  • You are not the only person ever to be struggling with that temptation – that’s a lie from the devil.
  • God is faithful – he always provides a way out. There’s always a moment where you can choose whether to sin or not. Something that makes you think, shall I do this – a sneeze, a dog barking in the background, that allows brain space for that moment to choose!
  • You can stand up in temptation – it’s never more than you can handle
  • You have the power of the Spirit to be holy and make right choices.

Why not go back over these notes for today and make a plan so you can run the race better. What do you need God’s power to do or not do to run the race better?

Andy Moyle

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