Victory and Fame

I know a lot of “famous” people, and I used to think that maybe I wanted to be famous. But now I think not. Because Jesus said that if you’re famous for something, you already have your reward. If I’m famous for my ability to sing or to dance, if I’m famous because people know I’ll do just anything that pops into my head, then my reward is that people everywhere know me for my abilities. If I’m famous for being smart or skillful, then that’s it: I’m smart and skillful and my reward is that I have lots of people standing around just waiting to watch and to help me be smart and skillful.

Here’s what I want to be known for: If you gathered up everyone who really knew me and asked them to tell you one thing about me, I want them all to agree in unison, “There’s one thing I can tell you about Kyle: He loves me.” That’s what I want to be famous for: love. I want people think, even if there’s no one else, Kyle I can always trust. Because, see, if I was famous for that, then I would have all these people standing around just waiting to help me love. It’s what Jesus is famous for. Think about it: yeah, he was perfect and all. Sure, he never did anything wrong. But what’s he really famous for? He died because he just couldn’t live without me. And unless he died he would have been without me. And now look at Him. He has all these people standing around just looking for a chance to help him love. You notice no one’s trying to help Him be perfect.

No one else in history has that kind of record. Even Paul is more famous for his teaching than for his love. I mean, yeah, he had love and all, but that’s not what he’s really remembered for. I’d like to break that record. Let me be the other one who’s famous first for love. I want to be known as a for what love is.

Picture this: Paul said we should run the race in such a way as to win and Hebrews says that we should throw off anything that holds us back in this race. But if that race is this just your life, then the winner is just the one who finishes first. If that was the truth, then we’d have people committing everywhere just to finish the race first! But how many stories have you heard about people who got to look ahead to the judgment and they were rewarded according to one thing: did you learn to love? That’s the race, and that’s the goal. You win the race when you learn to love. And you are rewarded according to how well you run.

Bob Jones had one of those judgment visions, and everyone he saw that didn’t win, it was because they were too much tied up in the things of this life that they were focused on. One man was focused entirely on the bottle he drank from. And in the judgment, he was stuck inside that bottle with his head sticking out. He could barely move! Another one was focused on his gardening. And in the judgment, he was tied by a garden hose to all his hoes and shovels and bags of seed. Poor fellow, he was tied up and held down by all these weights. Another lady, who did win the race, as she entered into her reward she was surrounded by angels ministering to her. Her focus was on love, so the only things she was tied to were people and instruments that helped her to love.

It’s possible to run the race and not even compete. Imagine if you saw a hurdles race and one of the contestants refused to jump the hurdles? He’d probably finish first, but he wouldn’t win the race. He wouldn’t even be considered a competitor, but a distraction, a hazard to the other runners. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will received the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” That crown of life is a reference to the ‘crown of laurel’ given to the winners of the ancient Olympic games. Another view of this verse might say, blessed is he who jumps all the hurdles, because then when he finishes the race he will receive the medal. Jump those hurdles! They were put in your path on purpose. Because, after all, if you don’t go through trials, then you are a , and not a true son (Heb 12:8, KJV). And who, if given a choice, would be a ? Illegitimate children will never enter in (Deut 23:2).

But I want to enter in. And more than anything I want to win. I want to win. I want to throw down every weight, deploy every seed I have instead of merely carrying it. I want to persevere through every trial I encounter and never run around it. I want to be surrounded by that great crowd of witnesses, who cheer me on and push me to my utmost. I want to be tied only to those things which lighten my step, and I want to win that crown of laurel, be it marathon or sprint. In the end, Lord, I do want victory and fame. I want to learn to love.

Author: KB French

Formerly many things, including theology student, mime, jr. high Latin teacher, and Army logistics officer. Currently in the National Guard, and employed as a civilian... somewhere

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