Rules Matter


Will you be disqualified because you don’t want to follow God’s rules? Or will you play by His Rulebook and run to win? The choice is yours.

You can set a clock by my stomach.

By 10:30 every morning, I am hungry and just waiting for lunch.
 So if I take my wife out for lunch, I decide what I’ll order in the first minute. But even if it’s the same restaurant we’ve been to before, she has to read the menu. Then she needs to ask the waiter a bunch of questions.

Then she usually ends up ordering what she ordered last time.

But all those choices seem to overwhelm her. And there are times when I can’t make a choice either—usually at a drive-thru window with a long line behind me.

The choice you make for lunch is not a big deal, but the choices of life are super important.

Life is filled with choices to do right or wrong, every single day. No one is exempt from temptation’s pull, or from making the wrong choices. And all choices—both good and bad—have consequences.
 It comes down this this: we make our choices, then our choices make us.

On more than one occasion, the Christian life is compared to running a race, and the objective is to finish and win that race. In Philippians 3:13–14 Paul said, “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.”

That is the key: not just starting the race well, but running it well to the very end. 
As we run this race, we must play by the rules or we will be disqualified. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

In other words, Paul is saying, “I do not want to be a hypocrite. I want to practice what I preach."

We’ve seen a number of athletes become disqualified over the years for playing by their own rules. Karl Lewis won the Gold in 1988 because Ben Johnson was disqualified for steroid use. Lance Armstrong was shamed after denying he ever “doped.”

Rules matter and you have to play by them. In our spiritual race, God has set up His rules. The rulebook they are found in is called the Bible. We can’t pick and choose the rules we like and ignore the ones we don’t. We can’t make them up as we go.

So the choice is yours. Will you be disqualified because you don’t want to follow God’s rules? Or will you play by the His Rulebook and run to win?

Make the right choices today.

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How to Live a Spirit-filled Life
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The Work of the Believer
Dr. Charles Stanley
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