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STRIVING FOR THE CROWN

By: Oluwatunbi Stephen Akindayomi
Fom: If Not for God "devotional"
Bible text: "Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown." (1 Corinthians 9:23-25)
The marathon can humble you. Some arrive at the finish line and they got disqualified and while some gave up at the beginning of the race because they can’t just get going.
John Bingham said “Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It’s only when I face frustration and used it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards”. We all have reasons but let assured that isn't that we finished but the gain the courage to start. How can all be well when things seem not right? Zig Ziglar affirmed “It's not where you start - it's where you finish that counts”
Paul tells us to train and compete as athletes who really want to win. Without effort, nothing can be won in a sporting event.
An athlete must refuse things that may be fine in themselves, but will hinder the pursuit of his goal. Even so, the Corinthians must refuse things that are fine in themselves because having them may hinder the pursuit of the important goal: an imperishable crown, a heavenly reward that will never pass away.
Paul himself might be rejected by the great Judge; and to prevent this, he ran, he contended, he denied himself, and brought his body into subjection to his spirit, and had his spirit governed by the Spirit of God.
Prayer: I refuse to live below my divine standard and I paralyse every destiny polluter in Jesus name.

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