After I Have Preached To Others

1 Corinthians 9:23-27

"I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.  Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win…I run in such a way, so not without aim…but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

When all is quiet, what is left?  When all has been said, what stands?  When all preaching has been proclaimed, what of my life has integrity?  Oh, God, my heart cries for you! That I would “run in such a way”.  You are holy – may I be holy as you.  You are righteous – may I choose to live Christ’s righteousness out in my life.  You are just – may I seek justice for people who are in need of it.  You are merciful – may I be full of mercy.  You forgive – may I hold no offense against others.  You are rich in love – may I be rich in no other thing but love.  Have all my life – my hours, my days, my money, my family – have it all.  That you and your story – the Gospel – may be proclaimed.  May it be proclaimed far more by the substance of my life than the words that flow from my mouth.  Much is said in this world – much even flows from my mouth; may the substance of my life be a flow of praise for your glory.  I am yours, oh my God. You bought my life with your blood.  So, lead me in your way! Such a road is marked by humility and repentance – so I bring my repentance before you: of pride/ego, I lay it down; of lust, I cry for purity; of anger, I seek patience and mercy/understanding; of selfishness, I seek a heart to truly serve others for their good, not my own.  I repent of greed – may it have no grip on my heart.

After all has been preached, in the quiet of my heart and house, what is to be said of me?  Jesus, as much as I desire to be useful and effective in communicating your life to my own culture and people, I long to be all yours – to love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  So, I repent of every moment I have not been all yours – I grieve.  And I choose the joy now of a life of devotion to you. Grow me in both discipline and grace, that greater glory - in scope and substance - would be yours! 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.