The reading this morning came from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
We had cadets take charge of our meeting this morning and I have been given some of the sermon notes so I will be giving you a mixture of my notes and those of our preacher.
Paul talks of the competitors in the Grecian games and relates their efforts with the race of life. Christians need to be like athletes in this race, training, being motivated, having an aim, self control and be willing to make sacrifices.
We need to be communing with the Lord in prayer, meditating on things worthy of virtue and praise, loving our church family with sincerity and offering diligent, keen service to the Lord and our community.
As it says in Romans 12:11-13 we should not be "... lagging in diligence but be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality."
Our founder, William Booth, at age 20 wrote on the same topic in his now famous six resolutions.
1. That I will rise every morning sufficiently early to wash, dress, and have a few minutes, not less than five, in private prayer.
2. That I will, as much as possible, avoid all that babbling and idle talk in which I have lately so sinfully indulged.
3. That I will endeavour in my conduct and deportment before the world and my fellow servants especially to conduct myself as a humble, meek, and zealous follower of Christ, and by serious conversation and warning endeavour to lead them to think of their immortal souls.
4. That I will read no less than four chapters in God's word every day.
5. That I will strive to live closer to God and to seek after holiness of heart and leave providential events with God.
6. That I will read over this every day or at least twice a week.
"God help me; enable me to cultivate a spirit of self-denial and to yield myself a prisoner of love to the redeemer of the world."
Jesus calls us all to new challenges. It is not easy being a Christian - it is to be compared to training for the Olympics. It is not easy at all proclaiming Jesus here and now to people today. It never was. But we have a worthy and wonderful goal, to win an imperishable victor's crown. To live a life that reflects Jesus.
May God bless you richly this week.