Good morning! I hope your day is going well so far and that your month of March is wrapping up nicely. Our Lenten devotional for today comes to us from Chauncey Franks, who serves as our Campus Minister to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) on campus. You’ve undoubtedly had the pleasure of seeing Chauncey working with our student athletes and supporting our football team from the sidelines on Game Days. His deep love for God, his genuine care and compassion for our students, and his desire to be of service to one through serving the other is apparent in his wonderful work on our campus. I am thankful for his willingness to write a devotional and I hope that you will appreciate his words for us today. Blessings on your journey, my friend…
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
In working with athletes, I find it amazing how much time and energy they spend in order to be a champion. To win a prize. I also find it amazing that throughout the Bible God compares the life of an athlete to the life of a Christian. We see in I Corinthians 9 that our Christian faith is compared to that of a race. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never won a medal or a prize for a race. But in this passage, it teaches us that as a believer, our goal is not to win a medal, a prize, or a ribbon, because those things will lose their value and some day will not be as rewarding. As a believer, we are pushing and striving for an imperishable crown. Our goal is to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, “Well done.”
So, as you are living your Christian life, remember this: number one – you are victorious in Christ Jesus because of what He has done for us on the Cross. Number two – keep your eyes on the finish line, no matter what you may be facing in life, because your Heavenly Father is running there with you. He’s yelling, He’s coaching you, He’s loving you, He’s walking with you all the way to the finish line. He’s saying, “Keep coming, keep pushing, keep going.” Number three – our race is not a sprint; it is a marathon. And at the end of that marathon, when we cross that finish line, Jesus, in all of His glory, will be waiting for us with open arms.
God help us to remember that we already have our victory in You. Help us to be more aware of Your presence with us each day, and trust in You to see us through. Amen.