Obtaining the prize

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). Discipline. It seems almost everybody enjoys hearing the success stories of others – about the rewards and benefits of discipline, training, and hard work. But many don’t care to hear about the discipline part of success. No one has ever become successful in business, in sports, or in any area of life who has not disciplined himself in some way to achieve his goals. For example, no football player has ever made it to the top in his field without working out on a consistent basis, studying and memorizing plays, and then playing with all his heart and soul on game day! That kind of discipline is the fuel that kindles the fires of success! One definition of discipline is training that develops self-control and acceptance or submission to authority. I like that definition! We can apply that to our own lives as Christians. We discipline or train ourselves in the things of God by continually bringing ourselves into submission to the authority of God’s Word. When we accept God’s Word as final authority and allow it to govern our actions, we enable ourselves to reap the rewards and benefits of walking in line with the Word. Success in life is not an overnight process, and it doesn’t always come easy. Any successful person will tell you that. But he will also probably tell you that his success was well worth the discipline, perseverance, and self-control he had to practice over a period of time to achieve his goal. Discipline is the fuel that kindles the fires of success, but it is also the bridge that carries a person from his dreams to his destiny! I like the saying “Discipline is remembering what you want.” Jesus Christ underwent the disciplining of His flesh in His earth walk as He proceeded from the Garden of Gethsemane to Pilate’s Judgment Hall and, finally, to Golgotha’s Hill. The Bible says He could have called upon twelve legions of angels to deliver Him from that old rugged cross, the Cross of Calvary (Matt. 26:53), but Jesus remembered what He wanted! He remembered you and me and a lost and dying world that would be able to partake of redemption through the finished work of the Cross. Certainly the temptation to give up and quit was hard on Jesus’ flesh! Going to the Cross was no easy task! Yet for you and me – the joy or prize set before Him – Jesus persevered in the will of God and was rewarded (Heb. 12:2). There is a great lesson for us to learn in Jesus’ fulfilling the will of God and obtaining the prize of redemption for all mankind. So let us look unto Jesus as we press toward the prize of God’s calling for our own lives! Let us discipline ourselves according to the Word to achieve our God-given goals and dreams. We can enjoy success after success in every area of our lives if we will dare to pay the price of obtaining the prize!

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