Tag Archives: the book of 1 Corinthians

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV)

There is a kind of work that fails to satisfy.  This is not to say that such work isn’t helpful, or even necessary, on some level.

If we are to engage in the kind of work that endures beyond our years, and that satisfies us at the core of our being; it must be work that is motivated by our desire to give glory to God.  Any work — no matter how menial — that is undertaken in obedience to God; or that is rendered as a service to God is never in vain.

If your work seems pointless, ask yourself: “What is the point?”  – Luther

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“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.  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.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  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.”   (1 Corinthians 9: 24-27, NIV)

Excellence, discipline, and humility. 

We extol these three qualities in any athlete.  Likewise, these three qualities together are essential for faithful discipleship. 

Are we living our lives — every hour of every day — “in such a way as to get the prize,” which is life in all of its fullness and length?  Are we engaged in the private, hidden, work of “training”– in the words of Paul to his protege Timothy: “to study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”?  (2 Timothy 2:15)

Paul’s words remind us to aspire to excellence in all that we do.  He reminds us to adopt the discipline of “strict training” so that we will be prepared for any of the so-called surprises of life, and fit to finish the course.  He reminds us to be humble, lest we ourselves are disqualified as the price of our pride.

Excellence + Discipline + Humility = Faithful discipleship.  – Luther

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