1. Incorruptible Crown - Striving (I Corinthians 9:24-27) – PART 2
I Corinthians 9:24-27, “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.”
A discus thrower developed his skills alone in his highland village in Scotland. This was in the nineteenth century, before the days of professional trainers. He made his own discus from the description he read in a book. What he didn't know was that the discus used in competition was made of wood with an outer rim of iron. His was solid metal and weighed three or four times as much as those being used by his would-be challengers. This committed Scotsman marked out his field the distance of the current record throw and trained day and night to be able to match it. For nearly a year, he labored under the self-imposed burden of the extra weight, becoming very, very good. He reached the point at which he could throw his iron discus the record distance, maybe farther. He was ready.
The highlander traveled south to England for his first competition. When he arrived at the games, he was handed the official wooden discus—which he promptly threw like a tea saucer. He set a new record, a distance so far beyond those of his competitors that no one could touch him. For many years he remained the uncontested champion. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do”—John Wooden.
This crown is for endurance and patience in Christian life. Those who strive lawfully or walk according to the Scriptures in this life will receive this crown. We don’t know the weight of what our service for the Lord is carrying into eternity. But what we are storing up is greater than we can imagine. We don’t know the size of impact we are making for the cause of Christ. As long as we are remaining steadfast and unmovable, we know our faithfulness to the Lord is storing up treasures in Heaven.
If we give our enemy a foothold, he will build a stronghold then use it as a stranglehold. Paul denied the desires of his flesh to keep himself in check. He did not want to do anything foolish that would hinder his service for Jesus Christ. That is the attitude of a champion for Christ. We are to live our lives for Christ each day as if it were our last. May we all accept Paul's challenge to be a champion for Christ. Be a champion for Christ!
Without question, the best place to invest is in Heaven. No earthly investment opportunity can ever match the yield God will pay for investing there. No thieves can ever steal that investment. No downturn or economic crash will ever affect it.
There will be a day in the future when all of our efforts, labors and sacrifices made in service for God will be remembered, recognized and rewarded. Whether anyone on this earth ever knows your name, you can be sure that God sees all that you have done and will greet you with the words, "Well done" (Matthew 25:21).
Disciplined Christians do things for the Lord. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, believed in striving to reach the unsaved. He said, “While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while little children go hungry, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight! I'll fight to the very end!” William Booth.
Points to Ponder:
Questions to Consider:
PRAYER: Father, help me to devote myself to the cause of Your precious Son. As I continue on this journey, help me continue to be dedicated to Your plan. In Jesus name, AMEN!
Thank you for reading this devotion. This is PART TWO of this series. Please visit the website tomorrow for PART THREE.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.