2002-02-21 - Imperishable
1 Cor 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air 27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (KJV)
I can remember the look on a young skaters face four years ago at the 1998 Olympic Games. She was favored to win her competition. As she skated off of the ice she was in tears. She knew she had just lost the gold medal. The heartbreak of years of hard work and training being spent only to miss the the goal by tenths of a point was etched on her face and the sadness in her eyes. Last night the same young lady, now four years older, skated her short program and is poised once again within reach of her heart's desire. The happiness and joy in her eyes as she left the ice were extreme counterpoint to her younger self. Will she finally win the gold medal? Only time will tell now.
Paul used the example of the ancient Greek games where the winners were crowned with a wreath of laurel leaves. These prizes were highly treasured. But being made of leaves, they would quickly dry up and wither. Even pressed and kept carefully, they could only point back to a moment in time to the memory of a moment when the owner was the champion of his sport. These were very corruptible or perishable crowns indeed.
The prizes Christians seek are more lasting than the laurel wreaths, and even more lasting than the gold medals of today. The goal of the believer are crowns too. Incorruptable, imperishable crowns. Many long to hear Jesus tell them, "Well done good and faithful servant." Many long to see their friends, loved ones and any one they meet come to know the salvation that Christ offers. Seeing them in Heaven will be an eternal blessing. Some will have many crowns while some of us will only have a few or one. The winners of the Olympic medals show off their trophies with great pride, and deservedly so. All the same, I don't think even the man or woman who has many eternal crowns will be proud. They will be humbled with the knowledge that their salvation was purchased with the blood of their Lord and Master. And they will only be happy to have more crowns to throw at Jesus' feet in humble adoration.
Lord Jesus - Please help us be mindful of eternity in our thoughts and preparations. Help us with our frailties and lack of discipline. Guide us and lead us as we walk through this life. Amen.
Grace & Peace,