Walking in the fear of God – Part 4
1 Corinth 9:25 “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we are incorruptible.”
Beloved, it is necessary to understand that the Christian race is not a bread and butter affair. It is a race that goes with many disturbances. Although it may not strain the legs and lungs like the physical race, but it pressurises and saps emotional energy. So, it implies perseverance and a focus approach, as every step taken either brings you closer to the prize or takes you farer away from the crown. In this race as in every other race, there are sets of rules, which must be adhered to if you are to obtain a reward. You cannot run it in a zigzag manner or according to your own rules and expect a reward, because the judge in this race is just, fair and not a respecter of person.
So, if you are a serious heavenly racer, you must observe caution, and watch against dangers, which surround you. You must ensure that none of your members is a threat to your chances of receiving a reward, thus they must be brought under subjection. As Paul the Apostle retorted that he brought his members into subjection, so that at the end of the race, he would not be a cast away. This implies that he subjected himself to a severe and rigid discipline, so that all his corrupt passions could be subdued and never threatened his resolve to make heaven at last. Paul proclaimed the gospel far and near and had thousands converted through his evangelical adventure. And yet he felt that there was a possibility that even after all this exploit, he might be lost. Thus, he subdued his carnal inclinations to show that he was not under the dominion of evil passions, but wholly under the dominion of God’s word.
This must be the standard of every Christian racer, having whatever that will make him/her to sin against God be placed under subjection, so that at the end of this life after serving God with all his heart, he would not hear ‘depart from me ye that walketh iniquity, I never knew you’. I pray it shall never be our portion.
But we should be conscious of the fact that we must bring our body under subjection as we run around on daily basis. We should walk with fear, because we shall render account of our lives and our services to God, as well as take into consideration that others are watching us. If the unbelievers can practice temperance to obtain a worldly and perishable price, why should we not strive more to obtain one that never can perish? Therefore, let us be careful, run the race and serve Him with fear, so that we may be good example to those following us. We should ensure that our lifestyle preaches more than the word of our mouth, so that others around us shall be convicted of their sin and give their lives to Christ.
You can imagine how the unbelievers will set such a value on a laurel, and are willing to deny themselves good things of life. They knew that luxurious living could jeopardise their chances of victory, so they abstained wholly from these things. But today, some who profess Christianity and claim they are striving for the crown that fades not away, indulge in wine, tobacco, and other filthy, offensive and disgusting luxurious living. If you are sincere in your pursuit of heavenly reward, you must be willing to abandon anything and everything that tend to impair the objectivity of your mind, and weaken your body, and make you a stumbling-block to others. Remember we are their example.
1Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Beloved, exemplary Christian life is a good evangelism. One of the duties of a born again Christian is to live an exemplary life that will encourage unbelievers to seek God. We should be examples to those inside and outside, among ourselves and unbelievers who are observing us, so that they will be ashamed, then repent and give their lives to Christ.
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