The Prize

The Prize

By Mavis Tipton 

The 2016 Summer Olympics got underway this week.  People of all ages watch and are caught up in the accomplishments of these talented athletes.

Many children, and people from all over the world are encouraged that they too can reach their goals, and one day they too can stand on the podium to receive their medal of honor.

We sit in our homes and watch and root for the athletes of our country.  Telling them “you can do it, kick it into another gear you’ve got it.”  We get excited and share their victories and we cry with them whether its happy tears or sad tears. (I cry no matter what.) 

We listen to their stories of failure and victories, and all the sacrifices they have made to get to this place in time, and we root for them all the more. 

The bible tells us of a very important race we as Christians need to run.

1 Cor. 9:24-25

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize?  So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.  They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” ESV 

The Corinthians were very familiar with races.  Every other year they held Isthmian Games.  They were second only to Olympics in importance.  The prize was a wreath, which obviously did not last, in contrast to that Christ’s followers will receive a wreath but…imperishable. 

As a child I wasn’t into running or sports of that nature.  Had someone come along side of me and trained me for running I most likely could have accomplished it. 

Anything you want to accomplish takes training, practice, commitment, determination, confidence, time and sacrifice.  It cost you something. 

To reach the goal Christ has placed before us, we must be willing to surrender all to Him.  We need to view the Christian life not as a matter of what we can get from God as much as what we can surrender for His purposes.  In doing so, we will discover that there is nothing that we can surrender for His sake that He will not return to us in the form of a far greater benefit or reward, whether in this life or eternity. 

As a follower of Christ is the world looking at you and being encouraged that they too can run this race, by what they see in you?  Are you encouraging those just starting the race or those who have been running it a while “you can do it, kick it into another gear, you’ve got it?”  

Remember the “prize” is ever before us and it is “imperishable.”