If you followed the FIFA World Cup this year (2014), you probably saw the champions, Germany, win after their final match against Argentina. It was a glorious moment as they held and relished the prize for their hard work and dedication: the World Cup trophy. This trophy, made with 18 carat gold (75% pure) is valued today at upwards of $10 million. Isn’t that amazing?
As precious and valuable as this prize is, however, the German team was not able to keep it. Although they were the champions, they went home to their country without the World Cup trophy. Why? Because FIFA’s regulations state that the trophy must remain in FIFA’s possession, with the World Cup winners awarded only a gold-plated replica.
The reason for this seemingly absurd rule is simple: the original World Cup trophy was stolen twice, once in 1966 and again in 1983, and was never recovered. The new trophy we see today is always heavily guarded and mostly locked away for safekeeping.
The apostle Paul declared, “Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible” (1 Cor. 9:24-25).
In this passage, we are reminded that as Christians, we no longer strive for what is susceptible to corruption or robbery. Unlike the World Cup trophy, the Christian’s imperishable crown is safe, secure, and eternal. This imperishable crown is also referred to as the crown of life (Jam. 1:12), an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1 Pet. 1:4), and a crown of glory that does not fade away (1 Pet. 5:4). Is this not the crown we should be diligently striving for? Friends, remain obedient and faithful so as not to lose your crown.
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