Friday, January 18, 2013

DEVOTION: Who WIll Win the Crown? ~ by Narelle Atkins

I’m a tennis fan and I enjoyed following Wimbledon in July / August last year.

Due to the time differences between Australia and the UK, I hadn’t been able to stay up late and watch many matches. I woke one Tuesday morning to learn that the top-seeded ladies player, Maria Sharapova, had been knocked out overnight and I was happy to hear my one of my favourite players, Roger Federer, had won his fourth round match.

Since the number two seeded player, Rafael Nadal, was defeated in the men’s second round, I wondered who would make it through to the singles final of both the men and women’s tournaments. The finals would not be a battle between the world’s number one and number two players, who were statistically the most likely players to reach the final. Who would finish the race and claim the Wimbledon crown?

In 2 Timothy 4 the apostle Paul writes to Timothy, knowing the end of his life is near.

2 Timothy 4:7-8: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day – and not only me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Paul uses the analogy of an athlete when he considers his Christian journey. Unlike the tennis players who strive to win the Grand Slam, Paul’s mission was to spread the gospel to the Gentiles and bring people to Christ. Paul defended the Christian faith and stood firm despite fierce opposition and stints in jail. He was martyred for his faith not long after writing his second letter to Timothy.

At Wimbledon there can only be one winner in each of the tournaments who will be crowned the champion. Paul uses a sporting metaphor and tells us there is a ‘crown of righteousness’ waiting for him and those of us who finish the race and keep the faith. We have this to look forward to as we struggle like Paul to fight the good fight. Will you be awarded a crown of righteousness on the day when Christ returns?

Narelle Atkins writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She recently sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin's Heartsong Presents line.

She has published Bible Studies on Smashwords and blogs regularly at

Narelle is a co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA)

To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.


  1. Thanks so much, Narelle. As for me and my house? We're going for the crown!

  2. Great analogy, Narelle. Sometimes we need to refocus our direction...and the!