This is a devotion I wrote for a men’s group this morning.
Run the Race
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”
1 Corinthians 9:24 NASB
This Saturday I will run a 5k. I never run a race with the intention of winning. I am not in the position to be able to win a race. I am not fast enough. I run these races hoping to beat my last time. I train hard for months leading up to these races. I run at different intervals and different speeds trying to train my body to get faster and stronger. I work hard so that I knowI can finish strong and stay the course. I want to finish because I know that for me finishing gives me a sense of pride.
Many racers run these races in order to receive a medal saying that they were the fastest runner. These are medals that will rust away. They will not last forever. Paul is telling the church at Corinth that in the Christian race all are winners. If they run the race well they cannot fail. This truth still applies to us today. If we stay the course with God we cannot fail.
In verse 25 Paul said that athletes endured hardships to obtain a corruptible crown, but the crown given to Christians is incorruptible. The winners of these races were crowned with wreaths that would wither. As Christians we receive a crown of Glory that is incorruptible and would not wither or rust.
In a race their can only be one winner. Athletes put themselves through so much. They have a strict diet and regiment. They do this to prepare for a race with uncertainty. They know that there will be only one winner. They know it might not be them.
Paul is basically asking Christians why they are not more prepared for this race, since there is not uncertainty. The prize before us is certain, it is crown of Glory and righteousness. As Christians were are to train. We are to be prepared for whatever battle we face. We do this by spending time with God in prayer. We do this by reading the bible and studying what it really says. We have to accept the fact that their will be hardships and sacrifices. Be ready to face obstacles along the course.
No matter what we endure it will be worth it in the end. It is all temporary. As we pass from this earth our prize is given. We will be deemed righteous in the eyes of God. Stay the course and finish strong.