The Prize. As Christians, what is the ultimate prize that we desire? We desire a spiritual crown that will last for eternity. How then should we run?
24 Do you not know that those
who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way
that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is
temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown,
but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with
uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I
discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have
preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NKJV
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one is declared the winner? What about the other competitors? Did they run to win? Did they prepare in much the same way as the winner? What do they hope to gain for winning? They run for a perishable crown. In this world, the only kind of crown a person can receive, whether they excel in business, politics, research, etc. is a crown that perishes.
As Christians, what is the reward that we desire? We desire a spiritual crown that will last for eternity. We desire a crown of glory. How then should we run?
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, encourages Christians to discipline themselves to faithfully live and walk the Christian life. Christians are to pursue Godliness and growth in their walk with the Lord.
If a runner will so discipline his body for an earthly crown, how much more should we, as Christians, discipline our lives to live in obedience to God's Word. Remember, however, that we can not do that in and of ourselves. Christ saved us, Christ keeps us, and it is Christ who gives to us the ability to persevere in this Christian walk Many temptations come our way as Satan seeks to divert us from our true purpose. However, Christ is faithful. He is truly our dearest friend on this earth.
Let us pray that we will not be so engrossed in the things of this world that we forget the real reason we are here. God in His great and wondrous grace has created each of us with a specific purpose. As His children, we are to diligently pursue that purpose. Just as a runner prepares to run in a race, so must we prepare to live this life pursuing our own special God-ordained purpose.
Spend time in prayer every day in fellowship with your Lord and Savior and cry out to Him to grow you in the knowledge and grace of His Word. Run for a heavenly prize: the crown of glory! Run for a spiritual crown that will never perish.
What an amazing God we serve.