In early Greece, the winner of an Olympic sporting event was awarded an olive branch, which was made into a wreath, or crown. The winner was also awarded other prizes, great honour, and prestige. Even though this was a top glory, the apostle Paul referred to this crown as “corruptible” and “fading” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
Today, everyone is still running some kind of race in order to obtain some kind of crown. However, the real situation is that whether we pursue wealth, happiness, or success, all of these “crowns” are sure to fade and pass away. Even King Solomon, at the peak of his wisdom and fame, concluded that life at its best is pursuing shadows and chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14).
However, there is another race and another crown to be won, and this is the most important one of all. This race is the Christian life, and this crown is an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:26).
The Christian life is the greatest and most exciting “race” in the universe, with myriads of angels cheering on those participating in this race (Hebrews 12:22). Yet in order to obtain the prize, the incorruptible crown, we first have to begin running this race, the race of the Christian life. Have you begun to run this race? The way to qualify to enter the race is just to believe into the Lord Jesus and become a child of God (John 1:12). Simply open your heart and open your mouth and say:
“Lord Jesus, I am tired of running all the other races.
I repent and I believe into You.
Fill me with Your life
so I can pursue toward You as my goal and my incorruptible crown.”
Those who believe in the Lord Jesus receive His salvation through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8). This is settled once for all. But whether we will be rewarded with the prize depends on how we run the race (1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1).
The apostle Paul wrote in one of his early epistles that he was running the course (1 Corinthians 9:26). Later he said he was still pursuing toward the goal for the prize (Philippians 3:13-14). It was not until the last moment of his running that he had the assurance that he would be rewarded by the Lord at His appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8). With this reward in view, Paul charged the believers to run the race so that they may obtain the reward, the prize, an incorruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:24).