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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

The Prize

Teams and individual athletes are obsessed with trophies. A gold medal at the Olympic games or the green jacket at the Master’s Tournament are highly coveted and earnestly contended for. Teams work hard to win the prize of a Stanley Cup or a Super Bowl ring, or even the trophy awarded to the champion of the NCAA basketball tournament. Playing hard for the prize and the recognition and rewards that goes with it is a vital part of athletics.

The Apostle Paul speaks much about contending for the prize. He tells us in 1 Cor. 9:25: “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize”. He addressed the Philippian believers with these words: “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13,13). The prize that we must contend for and press on for has nothing to do with money or a trophy. As we live our lives for Jesus on this earth we have a goal. That goal is to be like Jesus. Paul tells us that he was pressing toward that goal in his life, and so should we. We need to be more like Jesus in our conversations, in our behavior, and in our attitudes. We must forsake sin daily and allow the Bible to mold our character. The goal is Christlikeness in this life and the prize is Christlikeness in heaven. One day when God gives us that upward call we will stand before Him and receive our prize of full glorification, and we will finally and fully be like Him.

We may not receive very many prizes in this life. Our trophy case may be completely empty. However, as a child of God, one day we will receive the greatest prize ever given: being like Jesus.

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