This hangs on my daughter’s wall! It is a reminder to live our lives as Paul does: “I run in such a way, as NOT without aim.” The reason much of the world lives without aim is because they do not have a sure and certain target as we do. We are promised an imperishable reward because we believe in the gospel. Eternal life with Christ our Savior awaits us.
But how does Paul live with intention and aim? Well, it’s not only for himself but that other might be rescued from the penalty of sin. But there are plenty of hindrances among our lives and the lives of others that require us to live with intention.
Over and over, Paul reveals to the Corinthians that he had not made use of several rights he had as an apostle. To be a people who have their aim on Christ and eternal joy with him most certainly should give up various rights we have for the sake of making the gospel known to others.
In Paul’s defense, he mentions eating and drinking, marriage, not working a side job to support his ministry to them to which it seems he must prove with more evidence. He appeals to the OT for reference: “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” Verse 14 summarizes it like this: “the Lord has directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.” In other words, it is good and right for churches to fully support their pastor(s) (and missionaries) in the ministry of the gospel.
The ministry of the gospel takes more than certain people being free from concern about their finances. There are many hinderances in this world to the gospel. Some of them occur within the church as Paul has addressed. But others have to do with various hang ups people have. It takes intentional aim to navigate how to maintain the one gospel in various circles of life.
It mostly has to do with being selfless “that I may by all means save some.” It takes an intentional aim to win the prize of eternal life. It takes discipline to make our body our slave rather than being a slave to our body. There’s no reason to do this if something greater does not await us.
Resurrection is coming. Live like it is! There will be plenty of time to enjoy life when the greater and better Eden is restored!