Team JC Wins!
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)
What would be the point of competing in the Olympics and not trying your best?
Similarly, why be a Christian and not give it our all? Paul compares the Christian life to running a race in order to get his point home. Just as athletes have training exercises to keep them fit, so Christians practise spiritual disciplines to keep us focused and ready for the race of life.
Paul tells us where his own sporting analogy breaks down. Whereas only one athlete receives a physical crown that does not endure, all Christians receive an everlasting spiritual crown. Elsewhere in the Bible this crown is called the crown of life and the crown of glory. Paul explains, “there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
Thankfully winning this race of life is not all about us nor is it about how fast we run. It is just as well because we all get exhausted and may feel defeated from time to time. Of course, we do not run “aimlessly” nor should we “fight like a man beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26). “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1-2) and “fix our eyes on Jesus”, who is there, waiting at the finishing line for us. It is with his help that all win. In fact Jesus has run the race already for us. Just as he “went before us” to God’s throne (6:20), so he has run ahead of us and secured for us our crown.
We are all winners in Christ Jesus. He brings his team to victory.
Team JC wins!
Heavenly Father, thank for Jesus who wins our race for us, and in whose victory we all share. I give my all to you just like an athlete gives his or her all to winning. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson