THE MOST VALUABLE AWARD
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Henry C. Morrison, after serving for forty years on the African mission field, headed home by boat. On that same boat also rode Theodore Roosevelt. Morrison was quite dejected when, on entering New York harbor, President Roosevelt received a great fanfare as he arrived home. Morrison thought he should get some recognition for forty years in the Lord's service. Then a small voice came to Morrison and said, "Henry you're not home yet."
In the 1980 Boston Marathon, a young unknown runner named Rosie Ruiz was initially declared the winner in the women's division of the 26-mile race. An investigation followed and it was discovered that this was only the second marathon in which she had ever run, she had no coach, she trained on an exercise cycle (others did 120 miles of road work per week), and she had not been seen by any of the other women runners in the race. It was speculated that she probably rode a subway for 16 miles to get near the finish line. Rosie was disqualified and lost the reward not just the prize for finishing first, but the more lasting satisfaction of attaining a difficult goal.
Be thinking of the following:
What was the Apostle looking forward to? A crown. This crown was not a crown worn by royalty, but by winners. It was made of gold and costly Jewels but from a twisted stick, possibly an olive branch. Its value came from what it signified not what it cost.
What does it mean to “fight the good fight?” This speaks of being in Christ and allowing Him to call the shots as to what is important and what is not. This endeavor is placed in this place of importance because it puts each of us in the same priority scale as our Lord.
How do we “finish the race?” Thisis being faithful till the end with all that Jesus has demanded of us and is stated in the New Testament by him. Years of church attendance may not be sufficient to qualify for this.
Perhaps we might liken this to marriage, which is exactly what is observed in Ephesians chapter five- Christ is the groom and the Church is the bride. What is called for and is rewarding is faithfulness to the end. A great start and a poor ending is not good enough.
Let live so we can look forward with certainty to the incorruptible crown.