It is love, not knowledge, that forms the basis of Christianity. Paul wrote letters to the church at Corinth to emphasize this point and lead the Corinthians back into right relationship with God and others. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
1 Corinthians 9:15-27
15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 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. 25 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. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 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.
Finisher’s Medal | Marianne Toovey
1 Corinthians 9:27
There is a discipline that comes with salvation. This gift isn’t a free pass to live however we want and still get the reward of heaven. So Paul likens this discipline to that of an athlete training to win a competition. If you don’t train, you run the risk of getting disqualified.
I have one of my two half marathons this month under my belt, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need to prepare for the second! Training’s a bummer sometimes. Waking up before the sun, enduring frigid temps, wanting nothing more than to quit, eat a donut, and take a nap! But if I don’t train, I run the risk of not being able to finish the race – whether I injure myself or get sick because my body just can’t handle it. And if I don’t finish, I don’t get the medal and I can’t attend the party at the finish line. There’s an even more important medal and finish line party waiting for me at the end of this life. Will I get to participate? Only if I train!
God, I want that medal and I want to go to that party! Help me to have the necessary discipline to train for and successfully finish this race. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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