Scripture: "Every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things." "I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage."— 1 COR. ix. 25, 27. R. V.
Paul here reminds us of the well-known principle that anyone competing for a prize in the public games is "temperate in all things." Everything, however attractive, that might be a hindrance in the race is given up or set aside. And this in order to obtain an earthly prize. And shall we, who strive for an incorruptible crown, and that Christ may be Lord of all—shall we not be temperate in all things that could in the very least prevent our following the Lord Jesus with an undivided heart?
Paul says: "I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage." He would allow nothing to hinder him. He tells us: "This one thing I do; I press towards the mark for the prize." No self-pleasing in eating and drinking, no comfort or ease, should for a moment keep him from showing the spirit of the cross in his daily life, or from sacrificing all, like his Master. Read the following four passages which comprise his life-history: 2 Cor. iv. 11-13; 2 Cor. iv. 8-12, vi. 4-10, xi. 23-27. The cross was not only the theme of his preaching, but the rule of his life in all its details.
We need to pray God that this disposition may be found in all Christians and preachers of the Gospel, through the power of the Holy Spirit. When the death of Christ works with power in the preacher, then Christ's life will be known among the people. Let us pray that the fellowship of the cross may regain its old place, and that God's children may obey the injunction: "Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus." He humbled Himself and became obedient unto the death of the cross. For, "if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection" (Rom. vi. 5).