THURSDAY 1.26.23 Proverbs 6:6-11, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 15:58
6 Go to the ant, you lazy person;
observe its ways and grow wise.
7 The ant has no commander, officer, or ruler.
8 Even so, it gets its food in summer;
gathers its provisions at harvest.
9 How long, lazy person, will you lie down?
When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the arms to lie down—
11 and poverty will come on you like a prowler,
destitution like a warrior.
1 Corinthians 9
24 Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. 25 Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. 26 So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight. I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing. 27 Rather, I’m landing punches on my own body and subduing it like a slave. I do this to be sure that I myself won’t be disqualified after preaching to others.
1 Corinthians 15
58 As a result of all this, my loved brothers and sisters, you must stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord.
Hebrew wisdom writers saw ants work diligently. In Proverbs 6, they urged people to learn from the ants. The apostle Paul used Greek Olympic words and images in 1 Corinthians 9. (That made sense—Corinth hosted the popular Isthmian Games every two years.) It’s good that technology can automate many repetitive, boring tasks. But that can lull us into an indifferent, low-energy approach to all of life. Our culture often seems to say that only days off and retirement are truly good times.
- Sports champions must avoid choices that harm their physical body’s condition. Paul compared himself to a boxer in a ring, not a person “shadowboxing” against air. What forces, outer or inner, do you believe Paul saw himself needing to actively conquer for optimal spiritual health? What forces are you fighting for spiritual health in your life? How can technology help you to stay “in the ring,” actively building up God’s kingdom, rather than becoming passive and indifferent?
- Hebrews 6 contrasted committed, active Christians with nominal Christians who produced no kingdom fruit. The Message rendered Hebrews 6:10-11 as, “God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown…. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet.” As Corinthians put it, do you know “that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord”?
Dear Jesus, forgive me for times when I am indifferent your presence in my life. Teach me to hear your voice more clearly, and then to have a gritty, engaged will to follow you. Amen.
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Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.