1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 

Last night my son began training for basketball. He loves the sport. He has just finished football season. I noticed when it came time for sprints that he was jogging. I yelled from the bleachers, “don’t be last!” He kept jogging.

After practice I told him, “Son you told me that you wanted to play at the next level. This is your dream. You said you wanted to be a point guard. Guards aren’t slow. You have to push yourself to be the best. You are hurting yourself by not giving your all.”

It’s a new season. You can’t run the same way you did in your last season you have to run to win but first you have to want to win.

Do you still love what you do? Are you in the right position? Do you still have a hunger to win?

1. Everybody is running but only one gets the prize so run to win! You are in competition with someone. There is someone else vying for your position. Don’t take for granted where you are because there is always somebody that could take your place. Don’t take your gifts for granted.

2. Run to win! Don’t jog when you’ve been built to sprint. When you show up to go through the motions you hurt your chances of fulfilling your dreams. Run to win not just finish.

3. All athletes are disciplined in their training. Nothing worth having comes without discipline. I saw some people chiseled in the gym the other day and I ask them how did you do it! They said, “You got to eat clean!” Meaning they were disciplined in their caloric intake and stayed away from junk. That takes discipline. It takes discipline to read a book a week. It takes discipline to practice your craft. How bad do you want to win?

4. Run with purpose in every step. Everything you do should be leading to your purpose if it doesn’t cut it out. You have to start being selective in the things you accept on your calendar. If it doesn’t fit you must quit. It has to fit your purpose.

5. Discipline yourself so that you will not be disqualified. I’ve seen some great athletes throw it all away because of drugs, alcohol, and women. I’ve seen leaders and pastors do the same. What is the one thing you struggle with that could cause you to get disqualified? We all have weaknesses but if you identify it and put discipline around it you can win!

Dear God,

Help me to discipline myself as an athlete so that I can win! I hate losing and more than anything I hate letting you down Father! I want to give you my best in this season. I let you down last season and for that I’m sorry. I’m determined to live for Jesus. I’m determined to win lost souls. I’m not ready to throw in the tile because I know in the end I win! 

In Jesus Name,

Amen