1 Corinthians 9 Devotional – Day 5

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

GOD IS THE LIFE GIVER  
All of life was and is created by God and is dependent on Him.

Acts 17:24-25 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Praise God – The Giver of Life
Praise God for the life he has given you. Praise God that he has given every person life. Praise God that he sustains all of life.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for your lost friends by name.
  • Ask God to give you opportunity to share the gospel.
  • Pray for yourself as you read the scriptures.

SCRIPTURE READING:

1 Corinthians 9 Christian Standard Bible

Paul’s Example as an Apostle
9 Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? 2 If I am not an apostle to others, at least I am to you, because you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

3 My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Don’t we have the right to eat and drink? 5 Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I have no right to refrain from working? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Or who shepherds a flock and does not drink the milk from the flock?

8 Am I saying this from a human perspective? Doesn’t the law also say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it treads out grain. Is God really concerned about oxen? 10 Isn’t he really saying it for our sake? Yes, this is written for our sake, because he who plows ought to plow in hope, and he who threshes should thresh in hope of sharing the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 12 If others have this right to receive benefits from you, don’t we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right; instead, we endure everything so that we will not hinder the gospel of Christ.

13 Don’t you know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the offerings of the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.

15 For my part I have used none of these rights, nor have I written these things that they may be applied in my case. For it would be better for me to die than for anyone to deprive me of my boast! 16 For if I preach the gospel, I have no reason to boast, because I am compelled to preach—and woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward, but if unwillingly, I am entrusted with a commission. 18 What then is my reward? To preach the gospel and offer it free of charge and not make full use of my rights in the gospel.

19 Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law. 21 To those who are without the law, like one without the law—though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ—to win those without the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. 23 Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings.

24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. 26 So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:

Disqualification is not loss of salvation.  Paul is using the sports analogy to describe a non-faithful life.  To be disqualified is to fail to run hard to the end of the race.  It is failing to be found faithful in living life for the glory of God and the good of others.  Faithfulness is a joyful and good life but it is not an easy life.  But don’t be fooled, unfaithfulness is neither joyful or good…and in the end it is far from easy as well.  The joy is in the training, the running for the prize.  Christian Olympic chaplain Eric Liddle who gave his on the mission field once said…

“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.”  

He was referring to actual running not the analogy of running as describing the Christian life.  But he applied that same reality to his overall life of discipline for God’s glory.  He also said…  

“You will know as much of God, and only as much of God, as you are willing to put into practice.”  

When you “run” towards the cross you will often feel pain and it will be difficult.  But you will also feel God’s pleasure.  Run to win.  Winning is not beating others, it is being found faithful.

Leave a Reply