They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:25
I have some trophies on my bookshelves. I worked hard to win them and displayed them proudly. Now they seem merely a fleeting memory of a triumphant hour.
How avidly we collect trophies, not just those that stand on bookshelves but houses, cars, jewelry, and club memberships. We work hard, look for opportunities, take risks, and savor the victories.
Paul writes about athletes training rigorously to win a coveted garland crown. "They do it," he says, "to get a crown that will not last." And only one gets the prize. How futile the pursuit of fading crowns or trophies that will gather dust.
Paul goes on to describe a more worthwhile pursuit for "a crown that will last forever." He sees the Christian life as a race or boxing match. Rugged training and self-discipline are needed for a life of service to God. But the crown of eternal life comes only by God's grace. His Son came to earth, obeyed the Father's will, and endured suffering, pain, and death on the cross for our sins. Risen from the grave, He freely offers the crown of life. We respond by living for Him, never taking our eyes off Jesus Christ and our crown of life. Our trophies gather dust. His trophy shines forever.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help us to value only Your crown of eternal life; in Your name. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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