The Bible speaks of personal sacrifice as a response to God’s love

Physical Craving – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 9:27

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

In these next few days we will be studying what the Bible teaches about sacrifice—our personal sacrifice.  When the Bible challenges God’s people to sacrifice, it is never to earn His love or the salvation of our souls.  The Bible speaks of personal sacrifice as a response to God’s love in order that we walk worthy of His gracious gift of salvation (1 Thessalonians 2:12).  In order to conduct ourselves in a worthy way, especially in our present society, we will need to become accustomed to sacrifice.

          In our printed key verse for today’s devotional, we see the Apostle Paul referring to “beating his body.”  The Greek word Paul chose was “hupopiazo.”  This term was used in the athletic world of his day.  Often it referred to a boxer who disciplined his body, preparing for the many hard blows his body would endure.  So it must be for us who are serious about being authentic Christ followers.  We must prepare to endure hard attacks on our biblical values that we have chosen to live our lives by.

          The fight that we will face in order to live out our values comes from a couple of sources.  Obviously, the evil one is one source who is strategizing daily to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).  The other source is our flesh or lower nature that still feels the allure to sin (James 1:14).  (Continued)

Father, I want to respond to your great love for me by walking worthy in all my ways.  I am willing to sacrifice cravings that would dishonor you.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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