Today’s Scripture: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 1¬†Corinthians¬†9:24

Johnny had no problem joining the track team. He was the fastest kid in his school. When it came time for his first race that school year, he was very confident that he would win. In fact, he was too confident.

The race began and he bolted out ahead of the other runners. He thought in his head that he would win this race for sure. As he neared the finish line, he proudly swaggered over the finish line for a dramatic finish. As he finished, another runner passed him and got first place. That runner may not have been the fastest runner out there, but he ran to obtain the prize.

How many of us are like Johnny, and we run for the wrong reason? We may be living the Christian life, doing the things we ought to be doing, and not doing the things we ought not to be doing, but we are not running to obtain.

You may be running so others will see what you do. Jesus says that you have your reward. (Matthew 6:2) You may be running the race because you figure it is better for you to run than to constantly be chastened by God. Maybe, you are running because you are in an environment where you have peer pressure to serve God.

Johnny was very talented and had no reason to lose the race, but he wasn’t running to obtain the prize. Instead he was running for others approval. That ended up costing him the race. Paul warns the Corinthian Church that each believer needs to run with the same urgency as a runner that is running to receive a prize. In a race, there are many runners, but only one prize. The runner is determined to be the first across the line; nothing less will do. God judges the Christian race similarly. Although there are many different crowns, we need to run to obtain; nothing less will do.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.