Friday, September 24, 2010


The NFL star, Reggie Bush, had to give up the most prized trophy in college football two weeks ago because he took illegal money at USC. He will now be linked with names like Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, and Floyd Landis. I know that his offenses were off the field and probably didn't affect his playing ability at all, but as I see it, cheating is cheating, no matter what form it comes in. He was rightly disqualified.

When this happened I was reminded that there will be a future award ceremony for Christians. I don't know if it will be in public or private, but there awaits a crown of righteousness for the faithful. And, since you can't take little statues of football players into eternity I think God's award ceremony is a superior prize.

Paul wrote about the subject of eternal rewards using a sporting analogy. He said, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown (or Heisman Trophy) that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (italics mine)

Clearly we who are true Christians need not fear losing our salvation.* But we can certainly lose rewards. How about you? Do you take seriously the possibility of disqualification? If not, then take the apostle's advice and sign up for the strict training he referred to. Pursue your relationship with Christ as a matter of discipline. Keep the goal in mind. If you fall, the Lord will pick you up. Pursue the prize!

*Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:13-14
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