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Topic: Reward
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4, 5:4
Source: “World Cup trophy worth over US$10 million” posted SportProMedia.com, 18 June 2010
Author: Jay Manimtim

If you followed the FIFA World Cup this year (2014), you probably saw the champions, Germany, win after their final match against Argentina. It was a glorious moment as they held and relished the prize for their hard work and dedication: the World Cup trophy. This trophy, made with 18 carat gold (75% pure) is valued today at upwards of $10 million.

Isn’t that amazing?

As precious and valuable as this prize is, however, the German team was not able to keep it. Although they were the champions, they went home to their country without the World Cup trophy. Why? Because FIFA’s regulations state that the trophy must remain in FIFA’s possession, with the World Cup winners awarded only a gold-plated replica.

The reason for this seemingly absurd rule is simple: the original World Cup trophy was stolen twice, once in 1966 and again in 1983, and was never recovered. The new trophy we see today is always heavily guarded and mostly locked away for safekeeping.

Application:

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 we read, “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.”

In this passage, we are reminded that as Christians, we no longer strive for what is susceptible to corruption or robbery. Unlike the World Cup trophy, the Christian’s imperishable crown is safe, secure, and eternal. This imperishable crown is also referred to as the crown of life (James 1:12), an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1 Peter 1:4), and a crown of glory that does not fade away (1 Peter 5:4).

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