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Counsels on Health

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    The Christian Race

    “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Those who engaged in running the race to obtain that laurel which was considered a special honor were temperate in all things, so that their muscles, their brains, and every part of them might be in the very best condition to run. If they were not temperate in all things, they would not have that elasticity that they would have if they were. If temperate, they could run that race more successfully; they were more sure of receiving the crown.CH 46.2

    But notwithstanding all their temperance, all their efforts to subject themselves to a careful diet in order to be in the best condition, those who ran the earthly race only ran a venture. They might do the very best they could, and yet after all not receive the token of honor; for another might be a little in advance of them and take the prize. Only one received the prize. But in the heavenly race we can all run, and all receive the prize. There is no uncertainty, no risk, in the matter. We must put on the heavenly graces, and, with the eye directed upward to the crown of immortality, keep the Pattern ever before us. He was a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief. The humble, self-denying life of our divine Lord we are to keep constantly in view. And then as we seek to imitate Him, keeping our eye upon the mark of the prize, we can run this race with certainty, knowing that if we do the very best we can, we shall certainly secure the prize.CH 47.1

    Men would subject themselves to self-denial and discipline in order to run and obtain a corruptible crown, one that would perish in a day and which was only a token of honor from mortals here. But we are to run the race, at the end of which is a crown of immortality and everlasting life. Yes, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory will be awarded to us as the prize when the race is run. “We,” says the apostle, “an incorruptible.”CH 47.2

    And if those who engaged in this race here upon the earth for a temporal crown, could be temperate in all things, cannot we, who have in view an incorruptible crown, an eternal weight of glory, and a life which measures with the life of God? When we have this great inducement before us, cannot we “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith”? Hebrews 12:1, 2. He has pointed out the way for us and marked it all along by His own footsteps. It is the path that He traveled, and we may, with Him, experience the self-denial and the suffering, and walk in this pathway imprinted by His own blood.CH 48.1

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