What do you treasure most? What kinds of prizes get you excited and make you naturally want to run after those rewards, even if it’s difficult? In today’s lesson, Paul was filled with joy and excitement as He continued to write letters to the churches while he was in prison. WHAT??? Paul was writing with excitement….to encourage others….while he was in PRISON??? YUP! Paul knew that the church at Philippi was becoming distracted by false teachings and began looking for joy in all the wrong places, in all the wrong people and things. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wanted to encourage the Philippian believers to keep pressing on through hard times by keeping their “eyes on the prize.” What was this prize that Paul spoke about? Paul reminded the believers that our true home is in heaven, where Jesus, who endured the cross and died for us, will one day return…He will change us and give us glorious bodies like His with His great power. There will be no more sadness, no more pain, no more suffering…our prize is to have our relationships with God made right and live with Him forever where everything will be perfect!
Our FaithKids Juniors made trophies so that we can remember that we are all running this race together on earth to get to our heavenly prize, to receive our heavenly trophies with God. These prizes will not rust, nor will they will ever be destroyed…these prizes will last forever and they will fill our hearts forever with gladness. Let us be willing to lose everything that we hold on tightly on earth that cannot save us–like our toys, our earthly homes, our achievements, our talents, even our friends and families if we place them before God–in order that we may know Jesus and be made right with Him. Following Jesus is like running a race you cannot lose in order to gain a wonderful prize that has already been won for us. Jesus never sinned, but He chose to die for us so that we could be forgiven and receive this amazing prize. We can now live to know Jesus and share in His victory forever and ever.