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Daily Devotional with Pastor Jon

June 24

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.

1 Corinthians 9:25

The Isthmus Games — the second most important athletic games in all of the region — took place in Corinth. And while the Olympics were the Super Bowl, the Isthmus Games were the Pro Bowl and captured the attention of the Corinthians. They watched the athletes arrive a year before the games took place to train single-mindedly in order to win the prize — a little laurel wreath to put on one’s head.

‘Look at what these athletes do simply to win a crown of leaves,’ Paul says. ‘But the crown for which you race is incorruptible; it will last forever.’

‘So what?’ you say. ‘If you looked in my closet, you wouldn’t find a single crown because I’m not into them.’

Really? Of the five crowns identified in Scripture, the crown to which Paul refers here is linked to the declaration in Proverbs 11:30 that ‘he who wins souls is wise’ — and to that of Daniel, that ‘they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever,’ (12:3). To you who are more concerned about seeing people saved than about your own pleasure, ease, or liberty a crown will be given — not merely to wear on your head, but, according to 1 Corinthians 15:41-42, which will determine your function and capacity to enjoy eternity.

You see, while everyone in Heaven will be completely happy, totally joyful (Psalm 16:11), the crowns we win on earth will have a direct link to our function and our capacity to enjoy eternity.

Benjamin is thrilled. Mrs. Williams, his kindergarten teacher, appointed him Chair Monitor. As Chair Monitor, he gets to make sure all the chairs are slid under the desks when the bell rings. And he couldn’t be happier.

If, on the other hand, I was appointed Chair Monitor, I wouldn’t jump up and down and say, ‘I can’t wait to tell Tammy!’ For me, the position of Chair Monitor no longer has an impact because at this point, my capacity, understanding, and involvement with life is bigger than that.

So too, in Heaven, everyone will be happy. But Jesus told us when the Kingdom of Heaven is established, some will rule over ten cities, others five cities, others one — and some will be Chair Monitors.

Understanding this, Paul knew that a crown is not a fashion statement, but rather that which reflects what we will be doing for the next zillion years.

What if, like Paul, we really believed this? I guarantee every one of us would be looking for opportunities to be stepped on if it meant that the person for whom we laid down our rights would see something of Jesus, or come into a saving knowledge of Him. What you do with your life is oh, so important, gang. Don’t bury your talents. Don’t waste your time. Don’t fritter away your resources and money foolishly. Run to win the prize.

This Daily Devotional is an excerpt from the book "A Day's Journey" by Pastor Jon. "A Day's Journey" is a collection of 365 short devotions from the New Testament. If you would like your own copy of "A Day's Journey" you can order one from the SearchLight Store.

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