Growing up, I was fortunate enough to participate in a number of sports: basketball, tennis, soccer and even a year of baseball. And with those experiences came the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory -- as well as a large collection of trophies, medals, plaques and ribbons. Over the years, those awards have collected dust, rusted and even faded away, much like the memories of all those games.
As children of God, though, we are in a race for an "imperishable crown" (I Cor. 9:25).
But what does that mean?
* The imperishable crown is the "crown of life" (James 1:12).
* The imperishable crown is the "crown of righteousness" (II Tim. 4:8).
* The imperishable crown is the "crown of glory that does not fade away" (I Pet. 5:4).
* The imperishable crown is an "inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (I Pet. 1:4).
As we strive for this imperishable crown, each day presents its own challenges, perhaps in the form of family issues, work-related stress, financial strains and the temptation to sin. Therefore, we must run this race with endurance (Heb. 12:1) and discipline (I Cor. 9:27).
We understand life here on earth is like a vapor (James 4:14), compared to eternity. But this life is not a sprint; it's a marathon. This race will take our entire lives to run.
Overcoming obstacles that we encounter helps strengthen us for the next hurdle we face. The victors are the ones who persevere and stay with it.
And a home in heaven awaits the victors. Do you want to be victorious?