Run the Race

Sunday, May 5, 2013
 Run the Race with updated visuals and application ideas.

I have to start this Bible lesson by saying it is hard to find appropriate pictures or clipart with runners/running! So, in an effort to keep modesty on the visuals, I decided to use other graphics in most cases.
Bible Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1. Paul is writing to the Church in Corinth. Paul starts talking about running a race. There were a lot of events like this in Corinth, so he wrote about something they could understand by using a comparison. Think about the track at the school. People dressed to run, whether they are running on the track or running cross country on the path outside the stadium. He says you know all those that run in a race…run. They don't walk, or stroll, or jog. They don’t ride their bikes or use their roller skates, etc.
2. Everyone wants to win the prize! But only one receives the prize.  Paul says to run the race in a way so that you will obtain (get) the prize. Everyone is there to compete for the prize, and they are temperate, or self-controlled, in all things. They do it to win the perishable crown. The earthly prize that really doesn’t matter.  BUT we, the Christians, are running the race to get the imperishable crown. The never-ending or permanent crown which is Heaven.
3. For any kind of race, there are certain conditions that you have to meet. There’s usually some kind of fee. Whether you pay money to be able to participate, or buy clothes or shoes, or pay to get to the race, etc. God has said how to run His race. Hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized and remain faithful. And it isn’t always easy! It doesn’t happen by accident!   
For every game there is, someone has to:
      ·        Make up the rules
      ·        Play the game
      ·        Make sure everyone follows the rules
      ·        Give the prize

4. Paul tells us to run like this: Don’t be uncertain. (Hesitant or unsure) Be confident! He says this is how he fights: not like the person that beats at the air! (vs. 26) Think about that. It’s a waste of time and energy beating at the air, and you obviously don’t know what you’re doing!
5. He disciplines his body and when he preaches to others, he does what God wants him to do. Think of what athletes do to prepare for a race or a game. They take care of themselves, study the game and prepare to win. They do whatever it takes to win! They live their sport. Just as we should live for Jesus. We need to study the Bible constantly, so we know what the answers are when friends ask questions. Studying the Bible also keeps our minds focused on God and not things of the world like TV does.

You don’t get to take a break! You have to constantly fight Satan!
6. Just like at the runners’ tracks, there are always spectators. People are there watching to see how you are doing. Just like our life, there are people watching to see how you are doing as a Christian. So always set the right example.
7. If you are running a race, you run really fast and do the best you can. You don’t stop during the race to talk on the phone or watch TV. You keep your mind on the race. Focus on the goal. No cheating! There are rules to be followed and you will lose the race if you don’t play by the rules.  And, who set the rules? GOD (Gal. 6:7-9 God is not mocked)
You have to keep pressing on to get to the goal.  No matter how tired or frustrated you are. You can win! Don’t quit! Keep your eyes straight ahead. Have you ever tried to beat someone that was chasing you and if you keep looking back, you either slow down or fall down! Pay attention and look to Jesus!
8. In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (NKJV)

Paul had a good attitude. No matter what seemed to be going wrong, he looked for the good and made the best of it. When things get rough, a good attitude will help you not be a quitter.
Don’t complain or pout.  Don’t blame others.  Don’t make excuses. Stay faithful to God.
9. The prize at the end of the Christian race is?? Heaven, the crown of life.

I will add, that at the beginning of class, I had one student. I said, it will be hard to run a race if there is just you! And then, I thought, WOW! Yes, it is hard to run a race with just yourself! So, I added that we need others to run the race with us and keep us focused until we reach the end! We can't do it by ourselves!
You can print the teacher's visuals here.
There are a lot of pages to print for a workbook for this Bible lesson here. The link will take you to a different website, but I did not make any other printables since I use these free printable pages (and others I have from books) (Photo and link used with permission)
Part of what we did for this lesson is a race! At the beginning of class, I already had these taped (on back) to the wall all over the room. The kids all picked a card and I said "Go!" and they raced to color a word, they switched colors, and we continued until they were done. They had a LOT of fun!
I kept the cards for next week's lesson. They will finish the inside and give it to someone who needs some love shown to them. Next week's lesson is LOVE! The inside states, "Just wanted you to know that you are loved!" They will add stickers or color, etc. to make it theirs.

I handed out the trophies and ribbons to everyone and discussed the fact that even though in the worldly games, like what they just played, there is usually only one winner. But, if we are faithful, we can all go to heaven and receive the prize!
You can download the cards here.

Bible Verse: … Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.


  1. Just incredible resources! Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it! Thanks for hosting Family Fun Friday!

  2. We always love your ideas! Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at

  3. It's an interesting lesson, especially during big sports events such as Olympics. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  4. I love it! I'm always looking for ways to make the Bible fresh for the kids. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I appreciate the way you've broken this down for kids in a way that's relatable for them, yet still true to the biblical text. Thank you for linking this up with us at Grace & Truth!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it! They will be added as soon as they are approved.