1 Corinthians 9:24-27
1Co 9:24 Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium are running, but one receives the prize? So run to take the prize.
1Co 9:25 And each competitor must exercise all his self-control; they run to receive a mortal wreath, be we run for an immortal prize.
1Co 9:26 So I do not run uncertainly; I do not box like one who beats air.
1Co 9:27 Instead, I wear out my body and enslave it; so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
run to take the prize
The prize in the athletic games in Paul’s time was usually a wreath made of foliage. It was literally a mortal wreath because the vegetation would eventually decay and fall apart. Not so, the prize that we Christians are after. Paul encouraged the believers in Corinth to join him in seeking an immortal prize: the coming kingdom and immortality itself.
LORD, make us athletes fit for the ultimate prize.