Ukrainian gymnast Larisa Latynina held the record of 18 Olympic medals. She won them in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics. The 48 year old record was surpassed when Michael Phelps swam for his 19th gold in the 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay in the 2012 London Games. “[Latynina] kind of got lost in history,” the publisher of the International Gymnast magazine said. When the Soviet Union broke up, “we had forgotten about her.”

Paul, the apostle, reminds us that sometimes hard work is forgotten. Athletes subject their bodies to great discipline as they train to win temporary medals for their effort (1 Cor. 9:25). But it is not just that the medals are temporary. Over time, people’s memory of those achievements dim and fade. If athletes can sacrifice so much to achieve rewards on the earth, rewards that will eventually be forgotten, how much more effort should followers of Christ give to gain an imperishable (unending) crown? (1 Tim. 4:8).

Athletes’ sacrifice and determination are rewarded with medals, trophies and money. But even greater, our Father in heaven rewards the discipline of His children (Luke 19:17).

God will never forget our service done out of love for Him who first loved us.

Sacrifice for the kingdom is never without reward.


C. P. Hia


Our Daily Bread