In my Bible study this past week, I shared an answer to a question on I Corinthians 9:24-25 regarding how an athlete trains. Paul was using the analogy that a runner trains to win the crown of the race and the Christian trains to win the crown of life. But the training is similar, it takes dedication and sacrifice and effort.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And 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.” I Corinthians 9:24-25 (NKJV)
In my answer to the question about how this applies personally, I recounted a conversation with my daughter. We were discussing how to make her personal Bible study a habit. I told her that I showed up every morning regardless if I wanted to until I missed it. That’s the kind of dedication it takes – doing something until you miss it. That’s habit. That’s training.
For the next 31 days (as part of the Write 31 Days Challenge), I’m going to share how a Christian who didn’t really grow up knowing anything about Bible study or the practices of the Christian life found a training plan. Some of the things we’ll discuss:
- Vocabulary of the Christian life – I remember asking someone “What does it mean to hand it all to God?” I didn’t understand what that meant, and I have a suspicion there are others who don’t understand the vernacular of the Christian life.
- What prayer looks like – Again, I grew up saying the blessing and the Lord’s prayer, but these didn’t mean much to me. They felt like something I was supposed to do. I’ll share a few tactics for developing your prayer life.
- How to study the Bible – “Get in the Word!” That’s what I was told. What does that mean? What if I don’t understand it? Where do I start? I had so many questions on how to do this right.
- Training schedules – I’ve heard morning quiet time, family devotions, evening devotions and more. It’s overwhelming and when you hear how someone else studies, prayers and devotes time to the Lord, it can make you feel like you’re not doing enough. That’s not at all what Jesus wants for you. He wants your time and as you grow, you’ll figure out what your pace is. And here’s a big secret: It’s going to look different at different seasons of life.
- The why of training and how to apply it – Just about every time I ask my kids to not do something, they ask me “Why?” Some would call this a lack of respect; others would call this a natural response to a directive. I’m in the second camp; it’s our family culture to ask good questions (even if I want to say “Because I said so…”). However, if I understand why I’m doing something and how it benefits me or others, I’m much more willing to buy in. That’s what we’ll look at – why study and personal Christian training matters.
I hope you’ll join me as we explore personal Bible training for Christians. I want to see you in that imperishable crown.
Day Three: Three Whys of Study
Day Four: What It Means to Give It All to God
Day Five: What’s With the Head Covering?