Sermon Illustrations

The athlete knows that when he runs that there is the crown of victory that he is striving for. He drives himself for that one moment when the crowds are cheering him and he stands where many want to be, but are unwilling to sacrifice for. Paul says here is this man who takes on this discipline to have a fleeting perishable moment of glory. He is pushed by the goal, but what of us who are called to a far greater goal. We seek a greater “crown” than one of pine or laurel. But we do not run. Is the reason that we don’t run because we forget what the crown is? Jesus told of the value of the Kingdom in Matthew:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and went and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field and get the treasure too ! And again the kingdom is like a pearl merchant who was on the look out for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it.” ( Matt. 1: 44 - 46)

The goal, the treasure, the pearl, the lasting crown is worth our efforts!

Life is not a game without lasting consequences. Life is a proving ground where we prove who we are, whom we trust, and what we cherish. Eternal life, the upward call, the crown of righteousness, all these hang on what our life says about who we are, whom we trust and what we love. It is what we are running for.

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