Two men were recently sentenced to jail for burglarizing the home of baseball legend Hank Aaron, stealing championship rings that Aaron says he had planned to donate to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Here’s the thing about a stolen championship ring: it’s not really a championship ring any more, is it? If you didn’t earn it, you’re not a champion. In today’s Bible passage, Paul reminds the church in Corinth that each of us will give an account to Jesus of how we used the gifts He gave us to serve His kingdom. I won’t be evaluated by someone else’s gifts and abilities. I won’t get to point the finger at the pastor or the Sunday school teacher or anyone else. It will just be me and Jesus, evaluating what I did with the opportunities that came my way to serve Him. Ultimately, Paul says, everything depends on Jesus–He is the foundation. But I can build on that foundation through my obedient service, and it is clear that there will be lasting, eternal rewards for those who do. I know I’ve failed in the past, but I’d like to do my best from this day on to stand before Him as a “champion,” and I hope you will, too. There won’t be any stolen rings in glory.
– Ken Roach