Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DAY 536 - Don't Be Disqualified! Win God's Prize! (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

**NEW link for the  15th: 13th 100 days 24 hours prayer campaign (We are going to use this 13th list leads up to the 15th. 13th from March 15 to June 22, 2013. 14th from June 22 to August 31, 2013, 15th from Sept. 1, 2013 to Dec. 9. 2013)

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                               Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

** If you would like to learn a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please read my “Count Down 5” from my Devotion on Fire blog:
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Please click this link to read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Bible Study

     Paul concluded the point of "rights" and "freedoms" in this passage using a metaphor of boxers and runners. 

Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
     Paul says the gospel will demand that you give up some of your 'rights' and 'freedoms', even if this feels like going into hard, athletic training.  Paul doesn't want to end up himself, and doesn't want his churches to end up, like people in a boxing ring who are simply waving their arms around.  Far too much Christianity is like that today, and Paul saw the danger already: people making a lot of fuss about some things but doing none of the hard and demanding moral work that would actually advance the gospel in their own lives and the world...
     The other athletic image in this passage (verse 24) reinforces the point.  There's no point entering the race unless you are going to go all out to win.  And, says Paul, all they get when they win is a wreath that gathers dust and eventually moulders away!...athletes, he says, go into training to win a corruptible wreath, but we do it to obtain an incorruptible one...
     Paul's point here is that Christian obedience will often mean giving up supposed 'rights' and 'freedoms' in order to become the person God means us to become.

N.T. Wright. Paul for Everyone:1 Corinthians. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.119-120.

      What kind of fights are you fighting? What kind of race are you running? What kind of wreath do you want to have? Do you know that we all have to fight a spiritual warfare and to run a spiritual race? Do you think you are fighting a wrong fight, a wrong ring, running a wrong race and getting a wrong prize. 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    What I heard from Jesus today is: Don't be disqualified! Win God's prize!

    What I got from Jesus today is a warning to all of us as disciples of Christ not to waste our time to do the wrong things. Yes, we have our "freedoms" and "rights" to do whatever we want to do and not to do whatever we don't want to do. But, do you know how not to use your "freedoms" and "rights" so that you can do what Jesus wants you to do and not to do what Jesus does not want you to do?

    You have your "freedoms" and "rights" to go back to your old lifestyle making a mess in your own life, your relationship with your spouse, your family, your church and your workplace. But, if you really have a daily intimate personal relationship with Jesus, then you know how to refrain from using those "freedoms" and "rights", not going back to your old lifestyle making a mess in everything. You will truly becoming more and more like Christ. You will have a better relationship with God and with everyone. If you are not fighting this kind of spiritual warfare and running this spiritual race to refrain your "freedoms" and "rights" like an athlete working hard for the race, you will get the wrong prize and may just be disqualified. You cannot "finishing well"!

    Don't be disqualified! Win God's prize! 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be willing to exercise our true freedoms and rights to do those things you want us to do and not to do those things you don't want us to do so that we can win God's prize.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) Matt Redman
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