Determined to Win the Prize
I am terrible at board and card games. I rarely play them, and generally lose when I do. It is not because I don’t understand the object, which is to win the game, but I think it is because I am simply not determined to win, so I play casually, sometimes negligently. Thankfully, in those games, that approach is entirely acceptable and fun as I enjoy good laughs and some ridicule from family and friends.
The “game” of life and the significance of eternity is a far more important matter. Are you determined to win, and what does winning look like to you? Life is like a footrace, a marathon, and each of us has a different distance to travel. We each have an individual route to take, some with many hard obstacles, some seemingly with fewer, and the human assumption is that when it’s over, it’s just over. That is not true! What kind of a race doesn’t award a prize? There is a prize to be won at the end of it all, and that prize is never -ending life in Heaven, surrounded by the love of God and the presence of Jesus Christ, who made it possible.
The Apostle Paul wrote of this in his first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 9: “Know you not that they which run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it”. He is encouraging us to be determined to win the prize, and to run as though that is our firm intention, not casually, not negligently. There are many ways in which we can become discouraged along the way, and be tempted to stop trying, but it is my prayer that God would fill each of us with the conviction that the prize is our treasure and that we should be more tenacious than a bulldog in seeking it.
God has given us every means and help we need for this spiritual race. The Bible assures us that His will is that we will succeed – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, but is patient toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3). It all begins with God – given faith, which leads to repentance (true sorrow for our sins and failures), which leads to assurance that God has forgiven us through the blood of Jesus Christ, which lifts and strengthens us, which fills us with love for others and a determination to win the prize. And all the while, we are surrounded by those whose eyes are on the same prize, who love and support us, knowing that the prize is large enough to share with all who win it. May you be one of those, dear Friend!
God bless you!