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 forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 1 Corinthians 9:25-26
The world is filled with those who are running aimlessly toward crowns that do not last. This approach to life has become so common that no one even questions its validity.
From a very young age, people are raised to set goals for themselves to become the best they can be, no matter the cost. To triumph above others and see the reflection of their own glory is what most people strive for. Inwardly, they are hoping this is where the meaning of life lies, for they have given it their all. After years of striving toward greatness, the crown is presented. However, the glory that illuminates their life lasts only for a few short moments.
What utter disappointment, therefore, is found in living to gain the trophies of this world, for earthly successes never deliver on the promises they whisper to one’s heart. Instead, they are revealed for what they truly are: meaningless, a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
Without eternal purpose, the toil of one’s hands is in vain and nothing [is] gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:11), except emptiness and despair. What a deceptive prize this is! Yet so many people shut their eyes to this truth, and in turn, make that which is meaningless the desire of their hearts. But we, as followers of Christ, are called to a different destiny.
We are called to fight the good fight of faith and take hold of the eternal life to which [we] were called (1 Timothy 6:12). Our crown is eternal, and our work here on earth is filled with purpose, for Christ never requires that we labor in vain. Every step He asks us to take contributes to the fulfillment of His redemptive plans for this broken and weary world.
Unlike those with worldly roots, we do not have to speculate about the meaning of life because we know it resides in Christ. God’s Spirit within us drives us toward our purpose and urges us to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] (Philippians 3:14).
Praise God for the eternal victory we have in Jesus Christ!
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What crowns are you competing for?
by Jill Holler
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Jill Holler grew up on a farm in western Illinois, enjoying a life of running free through the pastures during the day and gazing at the countless shimmering stars at night. All around her, she could see the work of God’s creative hand, and she knew He was real. Yet it wasn’t until years later that she would discover the abundant life of faith that comes from taking hold of the living power that resides in God and His word. After struggling to find purpose and meaning for much of her young adult life, she found that it resides simply–yet powerfully–in Jesus Christ, her God and Savior.