The Apostle Paul said:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1Corinthians 9:24)

Upon first reading of that scripture, one might feel a sense of discouragement thinking that in our race in Christ only “one” will win the prize … almost as though we are in competition with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But this is not the case!

The twelve disciples felt that way at some point asking Jesus who would be the “greatest in the Kingdom”. As though someone will come in “First Place” and everyone else will be far behind. But Jesus admonished them that His Kingdom did not function that way.

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-3)

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)

The race we run is not a “competitive” race, but rather a “personal” one.

Every follower of Christ has their own abilities, gifts and callings according to the mercy and grace of God. If you like, we’re competing with our own selves in order to run the race that God has placed in front of us … as INDIVIDUALS.

Your race will not be the same as another’s … but they are all significant in Christ.

Concerning the race that was before him as an Apostle, Paul said:

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

The prize that Paul was striving towards was the “high calling in Christ Jesus”. This is why he said in verse 8 of the same chapter:

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss … that I may win Christ.”  (Philippians 3:8)

Paul wanted to win Christ because only ONE receives the prize that comes with being in “First Place”. In other words, Jesus has already finished His race and has received the distinction of “First Place”. He has already WON THE PRIZE of eternal life. And now the Father shares that “prize” with every one of His “begotten” children through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ!

All that is required of us now is to run the race that is set before us as individuals. No one can run the race for you. And you cannot run someone else’s race. Everyone has a different race to run, but we ALL win the prize because Christ has already run the race and won the prize for us.

Win Christ … and you win all there is to receive in Christ. It comes at the finish line!

It all began with the “father of faith”, Abraham, when God gave him a promise saying:

“Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

God Himself is our “prize”!

What has God placed in front of you? What has God given you in order to complete the earthly tasks according to His Will and not ours. They may not seem important to you, but they are of vital interest to God! He wishes only that you will do those things which have been entrusted to your care … whatever they are … great or small.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” (Luke 16:10)

What may seem small in our own eyes in this life may be of great value to God. If we are faithful to run our race in this life, surely it will be greatly rewarded at the “finish line”. And who knows how great those things will be as He entrusts his faithful ones with His eternal treasures. And those treasures are hidden and reserved in heaven for us!

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1Corinthians 2:9)

“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit … that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1Corinthians 2:10,12)

Knowing these things, let us receive this Holy admonishment:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (i.e. previous runners), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 2:1-2)

So, be encouraged! Today, Jesus says to YOU this glorious truth:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)