Foundations Study, Week 7

“Do you not know that those who run in a race but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

1Corinthians 9 :24-27

 

We know that the apostle Paul was a very spiritually minded man. His response to God’s love and grace is well documented throughout the new testament. His sacrifice and choices in life reveal that knowing Jesus and making Him known was Paul’s greatest desires. (See Philippians 3:7-14). We also need to recognize that Paul was intentional about his life desires. He did not sit passively waiting for God to carry him into a closer relationship. Paul was intentional about spiritual growth. Paul was intentional about fighting this spiritual battle. Paul was intentional about the choices he made concerning the needs of those around him.

Being intentional or deliberate comes from establishing values and priorities.   What we value becomes a priority and because it is a priority we intentionally make our plans or direct our efforts according to what we value. That’s a lot of words to basically say; “We invest into what is important to us”. To the apostle Paul it was important to him to progress in his spiritual journey therefore he ran to win(v24 above). Paul was aware that God would recognize and even reward those who were faithful to Him, therefore Paul ran with awareness (v25). Paul recognized that he would face many challenges & distractions therefore he ran intentionally (v26). Paul understood spiritual growth would mean self-denial, discipline and sacrifice therefore he surrendered to and relied upon God (v27).

It is my hope that all of us will be encouraged and challenged by what we can learn from Paul. It is my prayer that we continue to be teachable, shapeable, humble servants that God can form and shape and lead for His purposes.
 
1. Prayerfully read through the passage from 1 Corinthians 9 listed above.
  1. As you absorb the passage consider what things are important to you.
    1. How are you “intentional” concerning the important things about in your life.
  2. What areas of your life need to be ‘reset’?
  3. How can you be even more intentional in regards to your spiritual growth and surrender to God.

 

2. Consider the areas where you are currently serving. Make note of how you can be more intentional in the areas you serve. Example; preparation for teaching or going over group assignments or managing your schedule.
 
3. If you are not currently serving consider what factors have hindered or kept you from getting involved. How can you work around or through those obstacles? If there is someone who you believe is hindering you? What can you do to ‘intentionally’ and productively work through your obstacles to serving?
 
4. Now review your notes/thoughts and spend some time in personal intimate worship of God. As you close out the time of worship ask God to examine your conclusions and intentions(According with Psalm 139:23,24).
  1. Be ready to share your thoughts when we get together. (See email from week 4 & 5 and 6.)Thank you for your prayers! Pray for this weekend services!By His Amazing Grace, DEEPER STILL:  In DEEPER STILL I ask that you commit additional time to prayer. This prayer time is enhanced as you keep a reading journal and prayer log of what God is showing you. Along with the reading journal and prayer log, I ask that you read supplemental articles that I will have available to you.  As you glean from these articles and writings I ask that you write brief summaries or reports on a selected few. DEEPER STILL will help you learn to listen to Gods voice. It will help you learn from others who have experienced God’s faithfulness. DEEPER STILL will strengthen you and stretch you in your spiritual journey with Jesus.To be involved with the DEEPER STILL tract of this Foundation Study simply reply to this email and indicate that you would like to be a part of the DEEPER STILL portion.
  2. This is for everyone who senses Gods calling them to a closer more responsive walk. Jesus’ disciples went from curious, to casual, to committed in their relationship with Him. This was not merely their decision or determination. This was a response on their part to what God was calling them to. It is the same today; we start as curious which for some then leads to a casual healthy spiritual life. For some the curious to casual is followed by His call to a deeper commitment. If you are at that point or sense that God is calling you to a role of leadership, or perhaps a role of support and helps, or even a more committed consistent spiritual life, then the DEEPER STILL tract is for you. This will involve the same approach as listed in the initial portion of this letter as well as additional disciplines.

 

Pastor Dan