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. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (ESV)
In Paul’s time, people obsessed about athletics as much as we do today. In fact, many of our modern day track and field events have roots going back 2,000 years or more.
In those times (as in ours), many could participate in a race, but only one runner could win. Winners were given a “perishable wreath,” which soon wilted. Winning athletes were significant heroes.
But unlike the races of the time where only one person could win and receive a temporary prize, Paul talks about another race and another reward: one that’s attainable to everyone.
Winning a race requires strict discipline and focus, and our journey to salvation requires nothing less. As Christians, our significance is in Jesus. Once we have received the crown of glory, we are significant in the eyes of God. It is a free gift of God to all who seek and accept the forgiveness of sins and invite Jesus to live in their hearts.
Our Christian significance sets us apart from the world. We are called to be holy and to continue to discipline ourselves so as to not slide back into the world. We do this by studying the Bible, praying, and focusing on Jesus daily.
Heavenly Father, I am running the race. I have chosen You as my Savior and Lord. Help me to stay in shape and follow the discipline of leading a Christian life, knowing that one day, I will wear the crown of glory forever. Amen.
How often do you focus on your significance as a child of the King? How disciplined are you in your daily devotional life? Focus on both, as you celebrate your significance in Jesus.