Today’s verses read, “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 that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
On June 28th, 1991, in Las Vegas, Colorado viewers witnessed the greatest show of strength and endurance many of them have probably still ever seen. On this day, “Iron” Mike Tyson and Donovan “Razor” Ruddock faced each other in a well-anticipated rematch. In the previous match, Mike Tyson pummeled Donovan so hard that the referee finally had to call the match. However, in this new match, Ruddock was not going to take that. Even though he lost, he endured until the end and the match didn’t have to be called. They fought out all 12 rounds and Mike Tyson only won based on the judges’ decision. So, what’s so interesting about this match? Well, in the third round, Ruddock was actually grounded with a broken jaw. Now, I know some of y’all might be thinking, “But I thought they fought all 12 rounds?” Well, that’s exactly right! And THAT’S what’s so interesting about this match. Donovan “Razor” Ruddock suffered a broken jaw in the third round of the match, but he still endured to the end and actually finished stronger than he started. This is an awesome show of staying power, but in the church these days, this kind of endurance is rarely seen. One of the problems with the church today is that we quit on God. And we quit on God because we’re not using the right weapons. We have to stop using physical weapons and start using spiritual weapons because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds”
In our text, we can see that there is a clear difference between us and unbelievers. The unbelievers are vying for a crown that’s going to wither away and die. Theirs won’t last. But we as Christians are striving for a crown that will last forever. Isn’t that a blessing? We don’t have to waste our time trying to get something that won’t last. We get to spend our time and energy on something that will last. And that’s not a waste. But it only works out this way if we actually make our goal the heavenly crown. A lot of Christians today have the wrong goals. They’re trying to please man and do things for man’s glory and leaving God by the wayside. But God tells us in His word that this is not right. The Bible says that our focus should be on things above and not on worldly things (Colossians 3:2). Listen to that again. Our focus should be on things above and not on worldly things. Focus. The definition of focus is a main purpose or interest. Striving towards God has to be our purpose! We have to be interested in God and not interested in the world. Once we get to that point, we can begin growing in Christ.
Do better. Think better. Be better.