Well yesterday turned out to be a great day for British sportsmen, as Andy Murray took the Wimbledon crown for the 2nd time, and Lewis Hamilton won his fourth British Grand Prix.  It’s worth remembering that such success does not come overnight but is the result of years of dedicated hard work – Murray was just three years old when he started playing tennis, and Hamilton eight when he first drove a go-kart.  To be the best some serious sacrifice must be reckoned with – it’s said that the world famous decathlete Daley Thompson even trained on Christmas Day because he knew it would give him the edge over his competitors.

I’m reminded of the apostle Paul who once wrote to those who had decided to follow Jesus, “Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Sooner or later the crowns that Murray and Hamilton currently hold will fade and pass to others, as will all the material things we strive so hard for in this life.  But the crown of life that Jesus promises is one that will last forever; and the best bit: this greatest crown of all is not one we have to work for but one that is offered as a gift.

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