1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  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.

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

DEVOTION – Carol Purves (Cumbria, England)

The two soccer teams were eagerly awaiting their match.  Over the years they’d had a stormy history, and on this particular Saturday afternoon emotions were running high.  Every player was fit and raring to go.  The visitors played with skill and enthusiasm, and they won.

When fans were interviewed after the game, one man said, “The visitors won because they played with passion.”

Passion makes a difference in many areas of life including our faith journey.  Are we passionate in serving God?  Do we take every opportunity to share what we believe?  Do we try to live Christlike lives?  How wonderful if those who know us well can say of us that we live full of passion for Christ!  I want to “press on toward the goal” (see Phil. 3:14) of obedience to God, looking neither to the right or the left but fixing my eyes on Jesus (see Heb. 12:2).  What about you?

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How passionate am I in serving God?

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, may we see clearly our one purpose in life: to serve and follow you as we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.  And lead us not into temptation.” Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Student Athletes